Russia causing global food crisis
Russia is responsible for a major global food supply crisis, the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said yesterday, some days after the Kremlin announced it would suspend an agreement for Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea.
"What we already know is that this is going to create a big and huge food crisis in the world..", Borrell told journalists before heading into a EU foreign ministers' meeting.
Borrell also accused Russia of deliberately attacking grain storage facilities in the southern port city of Odesa, which he said would further deepen the food crisis.
Meanwhile, three people were killed and a Chinese consular building was damaged yesterday in a third successive night of air strikes on southern Ukrainian port cities, Ukrainian officials said.
Russia also issued a threat against Ukraine-bound vessels in the Black Sea. The United States said Russia's warning to ships indicated Moscow might attack vessels at sea. The signals that Russia was willing to use force to reimpose its blockade of one of the world's biggest food exporters set global prices soaring.
Moscow says it will not participate in the year-old grain deal without better terms for its own food and fertiliser sales. The United Nations says Russia's decision threatens food security for the world's poorest people.
Beijing, a Russian ally, did not immediately comment on the incident of damage to Chinese consular building.
"Russian terrorists continue their attempts to destroy the life of our country," Zelenskiy said on the Telegram messaging app. "Together we will make it through this terrible time. And we will withstand the attacks of Russian evil."
In Odesa, a security guard was killed and at least eight other people were hurt, including a child, Kiper said.
A married couple was killed in the city of Mykolaiv, mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said.
Elsewhere, on the front line near Kupiansk, a railway hub Ukraine recaptured last month, Stanislav, an artillery unit commander, said his forces had received newly issued cluster munitions, and could start firing them soon: "Maybe today or tomorrow".
The Kremlin said yesterday that Poland's decision to bolster its forces along its border with Belarus in response to the presence of Russian Wagner mercenary fighters was "a cause for concern".
Poland, a member of the Western NATO military alliance, began moving over 1,000 troops, along with military hardware, to the east this month.
Warsaw had previously announced it was also sending 500 police to shore up security on the border to cope with rising numbers of migrants crossing, as well as the prospect of a Wagner presence.
The Belarusian defence ministry said yesterday that Wagner mercenaries had started to train Belarusian special forces at a military range just a few miles from the border with Poland.
Asked about Poland's move, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: "Of course it is a cause for concern. The aggressiveness of Poland is a reality.
"Such a hostile attitude towards Belarus and the Russian Federation requires heightened attention (from our side)."