File photo | PIXABAY

Aug 01, 2022

Ukraine Grain Ship Leaves Odesa

Russian bombing kills Ukrainian grain industry CEO

A ship carrying grain left the Ukrainian port of Odesa for Lebanon on Monday under a safe passage agreement, Ukrainian and Turkish officials said, the first departure since the Russian invasion blocked shipping through the Black Sea five months ago.

Reuters reports the sailing was made possible after Turkey and the United Nations brokered a grain-and-fertilizer export agreement between Russia and Ukraine last month - a rare diplomatic breakthrough in a conflict that is grinding on with no resolution in sight.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter: "The day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, as the first Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade."

Slow exodus for exports

Ukrainian presidential officials have said 17 ships are docked in Black Sea ports with almost 600,000 tonnes of cargo, mostly grain.

The Wall Street Journal reports the flow of corn, wheat and barley will still be lower than before the war. It will take months to clear the backlog of grain, and this season’s harvests are expected to be depleted by the war.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts Ukraine will export 30.6 million metric tons of grains and seeds over the 2022-23 season, almost half the tonnage of the season before.

Oleksiy and Raisa Vadatursky Nibulon
Raisa Vadaturska and Oleksiy Vadaturskyi. Photo courtesy of Nibulon.

Russian bombing kills Ukrainian grain industry CEO

In related news, Oleksiy Vadaturskyi, 74, the owner and CEO of Nibulon, one of Ukraine’s largest agricultural companies, was killed on July 31 in his home during a bombing of Mykolaiv, a city in the country’s southern region, by Russian forces, company officials reported.

According to reports, Vadaturskyi and his wife, Raisa Vadaturska, were killed in their home during shelling that hit several targets, including schools, a sports complex and private residences.

According to the company's website, Nibulon is one of Ukraine’s largest grain storage and logistics companies, operating in at least eight of Ukraine’s 27 regions and employing some 7,000 people. Nibulon developed its own river fleet to transport grain to export terminals.

Nibulon said Vadaturskyi stayed in his native Mykolaiv to help during the war, saying Vadaturskyi "always believed in Ukraine and made his effort to develop the country."

"He repeatedly proved that any idea that matters to society and Ukraine, if you fight for it, will be implemented," the statement read.

Lisa Cleaver

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