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UKRAINE UPDATE: 12 DECEMBER 2022

Talks on expanding grain corridor accord; Odesa power restored to 1.2m people

Talks on expanding grain corridor accord; Odesa power restored to 1.2m people
Buildings in Mariupol, Ukraine, 10 December 2022. An estimated 250,000 inhabitants have left the city, while about 300,000 still remain. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Sergei Ilnitsky)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed ways to expand an accord to safeguard global grain shipments.

Erdogan, who helped broker the original agreement on flows, said different commodities and food products could be included in the grain corridor. Authorities in Odesa said that power had been restored to more than a million people who suffered from outages after Russian missile attacks against key infrastructure.

Key developments

Power restored to 1.2 million people in Odesa

The number of people without electricity in the Odesa region fell to 300,000 from 1.5 million, regional governor Maksym Marchenko said in a video statement on Telegram.

“Tomorrow we are also expecting a significant improvement,” Marchenko said.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky had given details of the power outages in Odesa in his nightly video address on Saturday.

 

 

 

Attacks disrupt cargo loading at Ukraine ports

Russian drone attacks disrupted power supply to Ukrainian ports, the country’s Sea Ports Authority said on Facebook.

Power outages caused by Russian drone attacks on the Odesa region forced ports of Odesa and Pivdennyi to stop loading, while Chornomorsk port was functioning partially. As of Sunday, Pivdennyi and Chornomorsk ports had resumed loading while Odesa had not.

Lack of power would further exacerbate problems with Ukraine’s exports via the grain corridor, the authority said.

Erdogan, Putin discuss grain corridor expansion

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed with his Russian counterpart ways to expand an agreement to safeguard global grain shipments, according to a statement from Turkey’s presidency.

In a phone call with Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said different commodities and food products could be included in the grain corridor. The Turkish leader had helped broker the original agreement to ensure continued flows of grain and vegetable oil from Ukraine amid the war.

Zelensky said on Twitter that he’d spoken to Erdogan on Sunday about the possible expansion of the grain corridor.

Rockets hit Russian-occupied Melitopol on Saturday

Ukrainian and Russian officials reported a strike on Melitopol on Saturday evening, a city in the country’s south where Russian troops have massed after their pullout from Kherson last month.

Details of the attacks and casualty estimates were conflicting. Ukraine hit a tourist base in Melitopol with HIMARS rocket systems, killing two and wounding 10 people, Tass reported, citing Russian-appointed occupation authorities in the region. Ukrainian city mayor Ivan Fedorov, working in exile, said on Telegram the explosions killed nearly 200 Russian servicemen in military bases in Melitopol, according to reports from local residents.

UK’s Cleverly says Putin signal for talks insincere

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that Vladimir Putin’s recent comments signalling the possibility of peace talks do not appear to be sincere.

“I’m not really seeing anything coming from the Russian side that gives me confidence that Vladimir Putin is entering these talks in good faith,” he said in an interview with Sky News. “The wider rhetoric is still confrontational.” 

He said that peace talks can’t be a “fig leaf for Russian rearmament and further recruitment of soldiers”.

Cleverly also reiterated the UK position that any talks would have to be “real and meaningful”, but that Ukraine would have to decide on the terms of any negotiated settlement.

 

 

 

Ukraine set for German weapons delivery

Ukraine will take delivery of more German weaponry, the country’s new ambassador to Berlin said in an interview.

“In a direct conversation, we were promised we get more weapons and more ammunition,” Ambassador Oleksiy Makejev told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview.

Ukraine is demanding air defence systems, self-propelled howitzers, anti-aircraft guns and ammunition from Germany. In addition, discussions continue over the deliveries of Marder and Leopard tanks, the newspaper reports.

Ukrainian troops battle Russian attacks

Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks in the areas of 11 settlements in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, including Bakhmut, according to a daily update from the Ukraine army General Staff.

Russian forces launched three missile and 17 air strikes, as well as 60 multiple-launch rocket system attacks. DM

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