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Britain says Russia may target civilian shipping with mines in Black Sea

Britain says Russia may target civilian shipping with mines in Black Sea
Ships, including those carrying grain from Ukraine and awaiting inspections, are seen anchored off the Istanbul coastline on November 02, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. Russia suspended its participation in the U.N backed Black Sea Grain Initiative last week stating "it could not guarantee the safety of civilian ships" after an attack on Russia's Black Sea fleet. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Russia may use sea mines to target civilian shipping in the Black Sea, including by laying them on the approach to Ukrainian ports, the British government said on Wednesday citing intelligence.

Russia pulled out of a deal in July that had allowed Ukraine to safely ship food products out through what is traditionally its main export corridor.

Ukraine responded by setting up a temporary “humanitarian corridor” for cargo vessels, and several ships have left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports since.

Britain said its assessment of the intelligence was that Russia was seeking to target civilian shipping travelling through the humanitarian corridor in order to deter the export of Ukrainian grain.

“Russia almost certainly wants to avoid openly sinking civilian ships, instead falsely laying blame on Ukraine for any attacks against civilian vessels in the Black Sea,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

“By releasing our assessment of this intelligence, the UK seeks to expose Russia’s tactics to deter any such incident from occurring.”

Last month Britain accused Russia of targeting a civilian cargo ship at port in the Black Sea on Aug. 24 in a missile attack it said was successfully thwarted by Ukrainian defences.

Britain said it was working with Ukraine and other partners to put in place arrangements to improve the safety of shipping, and was using its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to monitor Russian activity in the Black Sea.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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  • Allrite Jack says:

    Russia is not likely to want to stop grain exports, they are concerned that Ukraine will use the opportunity to import weapons to their ports & are entitled to stop them. The Maverick should be aware that Buchu was a Ukraine false flag & the evidence has been clearly outlined by many reliable commentators. There is video evidence, filmed by the Ukraine Nazi Asov regiment, of them shooting Russian prisoners in the legs. They are notorious for such incidents since the US instituted the 2014 insurrection. Its all on record.

    • Zonker Zoggs says:

      Ahoy, comrade.

      There have been atrocities on both sides of course. It’s war. Your reference to Russian prisoners being shot in the legs is simply whataboutery

      But regarding Buchu, Wikipedia has the following (with references)

      Russian authorities have denied responsibility and instead claimed that Ukraine faked footage of the event or staged the killings itself as a false flag operation,[25] and have claimed that the footage and photographs of dead bodies were a “staged performance”.[26] These assertions by Russian authorities have been debunked as false by various groups and media organizations.[note 2] Additionally, eyewitness accounts from residents of Bucha said that the Russian Armed Forces carried out the killings

      In addition on what basis would Russia be ‘entitled to stop’ Ukraine importing weapons to defend their country against the ongoing Russian invasion.

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