Russia has continued stealing grain from Ukraine for export, with the United States warning several African nations of the Russian scheme to sell stolen Ukrainian grain. Despite efforts by Ukraine to increase their yearly harvest, the Russian blockade has managed to impact Ukraine’s ability to export grain. Though Ukraine has continued to use anti-ship missiles to degrade the Black Sea fleet’s presence in the areas near Odesa, it is unlikely that they will be able to break the blockade without the support of a multinational coalition.
Fighting in Sievierodonetsk is reaching new levels of intensity after remarks by Zelenskyy claiming the loss of Sievierodonetsk would extract high costs in the city’s subsequent liberation. The situation remains volatile, with earlier Ukrainian counterattacks now shifting into a constantly-evolving line of control across the city. A variety of sources from either side are claiming that most of the city is under their control, while others claim a lack of control/a deterioration of their forces in the city.
Ukrainian officials have reported that Russian forces are abandoning military checkpoints in Melitopol. If confirmed, Russia’s withdrawals, even temporary, could be a sign that Ukrainian partisan warfare in the area effectively disrupts efforts to establish control over the region.
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