A second caravan of ships with Ukrainian agriculture products sailed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Sunday, according to Ukrainian and Turkish authorities. Meanwhile the head of the UN nuclear watchdog raised grave concerns over the shelling at the Zaporizhzhia plant, as the Ukrainian military said Russian forces had attacked dozens of front-line towns. Follow FRANCE 24’s live coverage of the crisis. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
9:27am: Russia-backed official in Ukraine’s Kherson dies after attack
An official with the Russian occupying authorities in Ukraine’s Kherson region has died after an assassination attempt, local Moscow-backed authorities said.
Vitaly Gura, the deputy chief of the Kakhovka district, “died of his injuries”, local official Katerina Gubareva, said on Telegram.
Gura was attacked at home on Saturday morning and was gravely wounded by bullets, a source in the Russian-backed administration told TASS news agency.
Kakhovka is about 80 kilometres (50 miles) east of Kherson city.
Several assassination attempts have been reported against officials in Ukrainian regions seized by Russia since the start of its military operation in Ukraine in February.
8:20am: UN nuclear watchdog issues warning on Zaporizhzhia plant
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency raised grave concern about shelling at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine, as its military said Russian forces had attacked dozens of front-line towns.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what President Vladimir Putin termed a “special military operation”, the conflict has settled into a war of attrition fought largely in Ukraine’s east and south.
But the fighting over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in the south, captured by Russian forces in the opening stage of the war but still run by Ukrainian technicians, has raised the prospect of a wider disaster.
“I’m extremely concerned by the shelling yesterday at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement.
The team must go to Zaporizhia just as we did to Chornobyl and South Ukraine earlier in the year. We can put together a safety, security and safeguards mission and deliver the indispensable assistance and impartial assessment that is needed.
— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi)
8:08am: Cargo ships sail from Ukraine: Turkish, Ukrainian officials
Four ships carrying Ukrainian foodstuffs sailed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Sunday according to Ukrainian and Turkish officials said.
The four bulk carriers were loaded with more than 160,000 tonnes of corn and other foodstuffs.
The resumption of grain exports is being overseen by a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel are working.
The UN and Turkey brokered the deal last month after U.N. warnings of possible outbreaks of famine in parts of the world due to a halt in grain shipments from Ukraine that had squeezed supplies and sent prices soaring.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)