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First grain ship from Odessa inspected in Turkey

Aug. 3, 2022 Updated Wed., Aug. 3, 2022 at 9:31 p.m.

Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn, offshore of northwest Istanbul, on Tuesday. The first shipment of Ukrainian grain left the port of Odesa on Aug. 1 under a deal aimed at relieving a global food crisis following Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, the Turkish defense ministry said.  (OZAN KOSE/AFP)
Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn, offshore of northwest Istanbul, on Tuesday. The first shipment of Ukrainian grain left the port of Odesa on Aug. 1 under a deal aimed at relieving a global food crisis following Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, the Turkish defense ministry said. (OZAN KOSE/AFP)
By Ellen Francis, Kareem Fahim and Sean Fanning Washington Post

Off the Turkish coast, officials inspected the first ship carrying grain out of Ukraine’s port city of Odesa in a deal to ease the global food crisis.

The Razoni will leave Turkish waters with more than 26,000 metric tons of corn and head to Lebanon after a three-hour inspection on Wednesday. The United Nations said the vessel was ready to go after Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and U.N. inspectors examined its cargo – setting the stage for three ports in Ukraine to restart the export of millions of tons of grain.

Here are other developments in the war:

• Ukraine’s ombudsman is trying to contact his Russian counterpart to visit the Olenivka prison, under separatist control in eastern Ukraine. Kyiv and Moscow traded blame Friday for a blast there that killed at least 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war from the city of Mariupol.

Dmytro Lubinets told the Associated Press that his request for a visit remains unanswered, as have repeated requests from the Red Cross, which has called for “immediate access” to the POWs as required under international law.

• The head of the United Nations’ nuclear agency warned that Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant – the largest nuclear power facility in Europe – is “completely out of control” in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Russian forces occupying the plant in the southeastern city of Enerhodar had violated “every principle of nuclear safety,” calling the situation “extremely grave and dangerous.” He implored Russia and Ukraine to allow the IAEA to inspect the site.

• Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, accused Russian forces of using the Zaporizhzhia plant “as the equivalent of a nuclear shield.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told diplomats gathered at U.N. headquarters in New York on Monday for a conference on nuclear nonproliferation that Russia was firing at Ukrainians from the power plant, “knowing that they can’t and won’t shoot back” out of fear of hitting nuclear reactors or stored waste.

• The southern city of Mykolaiv reported shelling overnight. Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said a building and supermarket were damaged in the front-line city.

• As fighting grips the east, Ukrainians arrived west on an emergency evacuation train. Ukrainian authorities said this week that they are ordering evacuations for thousands of civilians in the Donetsk region.

• Far from the front lines, Russian missiles hit military infrastructure in the western Lviv region near the border with Poland, the regional governor said Wednesday. He said no one was hurt in the Tuesday strike.

• Russia’s war in Ukraine has made the security of Taiwan another “focus of global attention,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said during a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Her trip drew anger from China, which claims the self-governed island as part of its territory.

• The Senate will vote Wednesday to approve Sweden and Finland for NATO membership, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced. Washington has backed the bids by the two Nordic nations to enter the Western defense alliance. Their NATO applications represent a tectonic shift for the two militarily nonaligned countries, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

• The war, which is in its sixth month, has forced more than 12 million people out of their homes. Nearly 6.2 million people have fled to other European countries, and more than 6.3 million are displaced within Ukraine, according to the latest U.N. figures.

• German Chancellor Olaf Scholz accused Moscow of needlessly slashing gas exports. The chancellor spoke in Mülheim, where a turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline is stored as Russia refused to accept it back after maintenance in Canada, claiming issues with the paperwork. Scholz said the paperwork is in order and that Moscow can meet its commitments even without the turbine.

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