On the morning of 21 September 2023, a Palau-registered ship Resilient Africa approached the Black Sea entrance of the Bosphorus Strait. Resilient Africa was carrying a relatively small load of 3,000 tons of grain from the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk towards the port of Haifa, in Israel.
Ships carrying Ukrainian grain have frequented the Bosphorus waters under the “Grain Corridor” deal brokered by the UN and Turkey on 22 July 2022. Except for the fact that Resilient Africa was not.
On 17 July, Russia announced it withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which was the official name for the Grain Corridor deal. Russia demanded the cancellation of trade sanctions and other concessions to make it return to the grain deal.
It also officially announced that ships bound for Ukraine will be treated as ‘military’ threats. Simultaneously, Russia started nightly attacks on all Ukrainian ports, particularly, on the grain facilities. As of 13 September, Russia has succeeded in burning 280 000 tons of Ukrainian grain in ports and nearby silos, destroying port infrastructure, grain trucks, ferries, and other buildings and equipment, and killing and wounding Ukrainian port workers, warehouse guards, and truck drivers.
However, on 21 September 2023, a ship carrying Ukrainian grain arrived at Bosphorus.
The next day, another ship – Aroyat – followed her steps, now carrying 17,600 tons of grain from Chornomorsk.
Three new, bigger ships took the course to Ukrainian ports, now both to Chornomorsk and Yuzhnyi, further to the west along the Ukrainian shore.
On 1 October 2023, all three of them left Ukrainian ports, carrying together 127 000 tons of grain, and, importantly, also iron ore, to the ports of Egypt, China, and Spain.
This time, five new ships signaled they were heading to Ukraine.
Russian naval blockade of Ukrainian ports has been broken.
Ukraine makes the Grain Initiative — and Putin — irrelevant.
Needless to say, russia has gone mad about the Ukrainian progress — just this night it launched three guided bombs onto Snake Island.
Please stand with Ukraine, and urge your governments to supply Ukraine with all the weapons it needs. Just like in this case, Ukraine has showed repeatedly that it can liberate all Russian-occupied territories if it has the tools necessary to do the job.
All three key Ukrainian Black Sea ports reopen to ships — Ukrainska Pravda
Ukraine Defies Russia by Trying to Revive Black Sea Trade — Bloomberg
Ukraine Update: Global food security depends on Ukraine winning the Battle of the Black Sea - RO37