War in Ukraine, Day 512. Russian Army Bombs Several Cities / Moscow Threatens World With Grain Deal / What Putin Demands So No Food Crisis

UPDATE – Head of the Red Cross in Belarus admits to abducting Ukrainian children

The head of the Belarusian Red Cross Society, Dzmitry Shoutso, has admitted that the organization is involved in the deportation of children from Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.

UPDATE – General Staff: Ukraine repels attacks near Kubiansk

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on July 20 that Russia continued to focus its main efforts on the Kubiansk, Lyman, Baghmut, Avtivka and Marinka axes, with about 20 combat engagements taking place during the day.

Update – Ukraine threatens to attack ships heading towards Russia in the Black Sea

Kiev’s administration warned on Thursday that it considers merchant ships in the Black Sea bound for Russian ports as suspected military vessels after Moscow threatened vessels bound for Ukrainian ports.

Update – Germany criticizes Ukraine’s approach and demands continuation of negotiations with Russia over grain

On Thursday, the German government backed away from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s stance that it wants grain exports to the Black Sea to continue without Russia’s agreement, arguing for new talks with Moscow to reactivate the Berlin Grain Agreement.

Update – EU is intensifying sanctions against Iran due to support given to Russia

The Council of the European Union on Thursday announced additional sanctions against certain individuals and entities in Iran to discourage military aid to Russia in the Ukraine conflict.

Update – The European Union has extended the sanctions imposed

Russia reacts to invasion of Ukraine The Council of the European Union on Thursday decided to extend by six months until January 31, 2024, sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its military invasion of Ukraine.

Update – Russia Condemns Poland/Warsaw’s “Aggressive” Military Actions Concerned About Wagner Group

On Thursday, the Moscow administration expressed concern over “aggressive” military actions by Poland near the Belarusian border, in the context of which Polish authorities have deployed troops to the Belarusian border.

UPDATE – Ryanair announces plans for post-war Ukraine – $3 billion in investments

Low-cost airline Ryanair announced its plans to return to the Ukrainian market on July 20, eight weeks after the reopening of Ukrainian airspace. It plans to open 75 routes from Europe to Ukraine and operate 30 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worth more than $3 billion at major airports in Ukraine.

Update – Great Britain bans Wagner leaders for violence in African states

On July 20, the UK government announced a new wave of sanctions against 13 individuals and businesses linked to Wagner Group’s operations in Mali, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan. Ivan Maslov, head of the Wagner Group in Mali, was among those targeted by the UK for his role in the massacre of more than 500 people in Moura in March 2022.

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UPDATE – Washington Post: Ukraine deploys cluster bombs against Russian forces

Ukraine has already begun using US-supplied cluster bombs against Russian positions, the Washington Post reported on July 20, citing Ukrainian officials.

Update – Defense Ministry: Ships bound for Russian-controlled Black Sea ports may be considered military targets

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on July 20 that from midnight on July 21 all ships in the Black Sea bound for Russian or Russian-occupied ports would be considered ships carrying military cargo “with all associated risks.”

Update – Russia says its attacks on Ukraine were “retaliatory”.

Moscow has admitted to bombing the Ukrainian port cities of Odesa and Mykolaiv overnight.

The country’s defense ministry said the attacks were “retaliation” and that it hit targets in both cities.

Russia has targeted Black Sea ports after withdrawing from an agreement to allow safe passage for ships carrying Ukrainian grain.

The Kremlin said it would not extend the deal because its conditions had not been met.

Update – Balance sheet of Russian attacks on Odessa, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv

Ukrainian sources have confirmed that two people were killed and at least 27 wounded in overnight Russian attacks targeting Odesa and Mykolaiv for the third night in a row.

The Guardian writes that 19 people were injured in the city of Mikolaiv, a security guard was killed in Odesa and at least eight others, including a child, were injured.

UPDATE – Zelensky: Attacks on Grain Ports Show “Ukraine Not Only Targeted”

Volodymyr Zelensky said the series of attacks on grain ports in Ukraine this week demonstrate that Russia’s target is “not just Ukraine, but the lives of our people.”

The Ukrainian president announced that there were about one million tons of grain in the ports that were attacked yesterday.

“Exactly this amount should have already been delivered to consuming countries in Africa and Asia,” Zelensky said.

The Russian attacks come days after Moscow pulled out of a deal that would have allowed ships carrying Ukrainian grain to pass safely to the rest of the world.

Update – According to the governor, at least 18 people were injured in the overnight Russian attack.

Tensions around Ukraine’s Black Sea ports have escalated since Moscow withdrew from a deal ensuring Ukrainian grain exports from Thursday, after Russia warned that ships passing through them would be considered potential military targets.

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A three-story residential building was hit in the center of Mykolaiv, and emergency services rescued two people from the rubble, Kim wrote on Telegram, according to france24.

He had previously written that some had been killed, but did not provide further details in subsequent messages.

According to Mikolaiv mayor, Oleksandre Sienkevitch, 15 garages were damaged.

In Odessa, another attack injured two people and was hospitalized.

However, in Crimea, Governor Serhiy Aksionov said a “Ukrainian drone strike” killed a young woman.

Update – Borrell: Russia’s attacks against Odessa could cause large-scale food crisis

On July 20, Ukraineform quoted the EU’s top diplomat, Joseph Borrell, as saying that Russian attacks against port infrastructure in Odessa and deliberate destruction of food stocks could lead to a large-scale food crisis in the world.

“We already know that such measures will create a big, big food crisis in the world. These grains are not just stuck in warehouses, they are destroyed. This means there will be food shortages, grain shortages in the world,” Borrell said before the start of the foreign policy meeting of the Council of Ministers in Brussels.

Update – Russia lost 240,010 soldiers in Ukraine

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Thursday that Russia has lost 240,010 soldiers in Ukraine since the start of the invasion. This figure includes 530 casualties suffered by Russian forces on the last day alone.

According to the report, Russia lost 4,129 tanks, 8,065 armored fighting vehicles, 7,134 vehicles and fuel tanks, 4,592 artillery systems, 692 multiple missile launcher systems, 433 air defense systems, 315 aircraft, 310 helicopters, 3,918 boats and 3,918 boats.

Update – Russia’s demands to re-enter the grain deal

Moscow has long denounced the so-called non-compliance with parts of the agreement on blocking grain transit through the Black Sea from Ukraine. Here are Russia’s demands to re-enter the treaty, according to the European press:

Banking system. Russia is demanding that its banks and financial institutions be given access to the SWIFT international banking system, which they dismantled after the attack on Ukraine began in 2022.

Russian export. According to Moscow, its supply of agricultural products and fertilizers has been hampered by economic sanctions.

Agricultural spare parts. The agricultural sector, which along with Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exporters, faces shortages of machinery and spare parts for industry and problems with insurance for ships.

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Natural gases. Moscow also wants to operate a gas pipeline linking the Russian city of Togliatti with the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, which is used to export ammonia, a key component of fertilizers.

Update – Putin: We’re back in grain deal if Russia’s demands are met

Doss writes that Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed his willingness to rejoin the grain deal if sanctions on Russia’s agricultural exports are lifted. According to the Kremlin leader, Russia is ready to replace Ukrainian wheat on the world market through donations and sales.

Update – Washington Post: Exports from Kyrgyzstan to Russia

The Washington Post writes that Kyrgyz companies supply equipment and electronics to Russia, circumventing Western sanctions. The newspaper’s sources expressed their concern over the growing number of import-export companies in the country. They are taking advantage of Russia’s demand for Asian and European components for drones and aircraft parts that cannot be obtained directly due to sanctions. According to the Washington Post, most of the time, “such goods enter Russia without interference” via the Central Asian country. Public data show that the total volume of the country’s exports to Russia increased by 250% over the previous year, before Ukraine’s large-scale invasion. “For some items, such as rifle scopes, there is no previous record of Kyrgyz exports to Russia,” the newspaper reported. The Biden administration is reportedly preparing sanctions against Kyrgyzstan that will happen as early as this week.

Update – Kiev: Useful conversation with van der Leyen

“Production Dialogue” with European Commission President Ursula “van der Leyen” on how to facilitate Ukrainian agricultural exports. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmikel wrote on Twitter. In it, “simplification of procedures, new border crossing points and development of transport routes were discussed,” the Prime Minister said.

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