War in Ukraine: latest developments

By: AFP
Published: 08:10 PM, 16 Aug, 2022
War in Ukraine: latest developments
Caption: Municipal service workers stand around a crater following an overnight strike in Kharkiv.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Russia cries 'sabotage' in Crimea -

Russia says that massive explosions at a munitions depot in Moscow-annexed Crimea were caused by an act of "sabotage".

"As a result of an act of sabotage, a military storage facility near the village of Dzhankoi was damaged," the defence ministry says in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

It says power lines, a power plant, a railway track as well as a number of residential buildings also suffered damage and that there were no serious injuries.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 in the wake of massive nationwide street demonstrations in Ukraine that led to the ouster of a Kremlin-friendly president.

The explosions come a week after at least one person was killed and several more were wounded in similar explosions at a Russian military airbase in Crimea.

Ukraine has not directly claimed responsibility for either incident but senior officials and the military have implied Ukrainian involvement.

- Putin accuses US -

Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses Washington of seeking to prolong the conflict in Ukraine and of fuelling conflicts elsewhere, including with the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

The US has provided key economic and military backing to Kyiv, in particular supplying long-range, precision artillery that has allowed Ukraine to strike Russian supply facilities deep inside Moscow-controlled territory.

Pummelled by a barrage of unprecedented Western sanctions, Putin has sought to bolster ties with countries in Africa and Asia, especially with China.

- UN grain ship sets sail -

A UN-chartered vessel laden with grain sets off from Ukraine for Africa following a deal to relieve a global food crisis.

The MV Brave Commander departs from the Black Sea port of Pivdennyi and will sail to Djibouti "for delivery to Ethiopia", Ukraine's infrastructure ministry says on messaging app Telegram.

The ship is loaded with 23,000 tonnes of wheat.

It is the first ship chartered by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to leave Ukraine since Russia's invasion began in February.

Ukraine and Russia, two of the world's biggest grain exporters, agreed a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey last month to unblock Black Sea grain deliveries after Russia's invasion.

The agreement lifted a Russian blockade of Ukraine's ports and established safe corridors through the naval mines laid by Kyiv.

- Estonia removes Soviet-era memorial -

Estonia removes a Soviet-era World War II memorial from Narva -- a city with a large Russian-speaking minority -- accusing Russia of using such monuments to stir up tensions.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas says the move was a response to "increasing tensions and confusion around memorials in Narva".

The Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia both have large Russian-speaking minorities that are sometimes at odds with the national governments.

There have been concerns that Moscow could seek to exploit these differences in order to destabilise the countries, which are both EU and NATO members.

- Gas prices at six-month high -

European gas prices surge to a six-month peak, exacerbating recession fears as the region faces the prospect of rationing following cuts to Russia supplies amid the war in Ukraine.

In Europe, the natural gas reference price Dutch TTF rallies more than 10 percent at one point to over 250 euros per megawatt hour -- the highest level since the start of March, or not long after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Categories : World
AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.