The grain agreement, signed in July 2022 between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations, expires on Monday at midnight in Istanbul. There is still uncertainty about its possible extension.
The Russian governor of Crimea, for his part, announced that an incident took place on an important bridge connecting the annexed peninsula with Russia’s Krasnodar region. Traffic was stopped there. Follow hour by hour the latest developments in the war in Ukraine.
7 a.m.: “The Ukrainian media is talking about explosions on the Kerch bridge,” reports our special correspondent Emmanuelle Chaze in Kiev
France 24’s special correspondent in Kiev provides an update on the incident affecting the Kerch bridge linking Crimea with the Russian region of Krasnosdar, as well as on the grain deal that expires at midnight on Monday in Istanbul.
6:57: the roadway of a major Crimean bridge “damaged”
Traffic was halted on a major bridge linking Crimea with Russia’s Krasnodar region after an incident, Russian officials and media said overnight Sunday-Monday.
The roadway was “damaged,” the Russian Transport Ministry said on Telegram, without confirming the presence of any damage to the structure’s pillars. “According to the Ministry of Health of the Krasnodar Territory, one person was slightly injured” during the incident on the bridge, the local operational headquarters reported on Telegram.
As a result of the closure to traffic, a traffic jam has formed at the entrance to the bridge, but its length has shrunk to 3 kilometers, state news agency RIA Novosti said early Monday, reporting authorities from the Krasnodar Territory, without specifying which entrance it was. was.
Rail transport via the bridge has been temporarily suspended, as has ferry traffic “between Crimea and the Kuban” (southern Russia), the Tass agency also reported. Russian bloggers and media reported that two explosions took place at the bridge early Monday, claims AFP could not immediately confirm.
05:09: Traffic stopped on the big Crimean bridge after ’emergency’, says the peninsula’s governor
An incident took place on a key bridge linking Crimea with Russia’s Krasnodar region and traffic was disrupted there, the Russian governor of the annexed Crimean peninsula said overnight from Sunday to Monday.
“Traffic was disrupted on the Crimean Bridge. An emergency situation arose in the area of the 145th column from the Krasnodar Territory,” located in southwestern Russia, Sergei Aksionov indicated on Telegram, without specifying the nature of the incident. “The police and all the competent services are working hard,” he added, asking motorists to choose an alternative route.
A coordination center has been set up within a Crimean ministry, Russian state agency Tass reported, citing local authorities.
03:59: possible expiry of the grain agreement
Uncertainty remains over the future of the Black Sea grain deal, seen as crucial to the world’s food supply, hours before it expires at midnight (21:00 GMT) in Istanbul. Silence and discretion surrounded the final negotiations over the weekend, led by Turkey and the United Nations to convince Moscow to extend the grain deal signed in July 2022 on the Bosphorus region.
This has over the past year guaranteed safe passage for cargo ships to and from Ukrainian ports despite the war, transporting a total of nearly 33 million tons of grain destined for world markets.
But Russia has not given its green light, and the Black Sea grain initiative is now de facto at a standstill. “Since June 27, no request for passage has been approved by all parties,” according to a statement from the Joint Coordination Center (JCC), which oversees the agreement in Istanbul.
The last cargo validated by the inspectors from the four signatories, the Turkish bulk carrier TQ Samsun, left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Sunday and is bound for Istanbul, according to the Marine Traffic website.
July 16 Essentials
On the ground, intense fighting continued on the front, with the Ukrainian counteroffensive being met by Russian counterattacks in some areas, but Kiev forces slowly advancing around the city of Bakhmout and in the south. . In an interview with the Rossia-1 TV channel broadcast on Sunday, Vladimir Putin said that the Ukrainian counter-offensive launched in June was not making progress.
Moscow also claimed to have neutralized at least ten Ukrainian drones deployed in annexed Crimea near Sevastopol, the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.