On August 10, the Naval Forces of Ukraine announced the launch of a temporary corridor for merchant ships going to or from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports of Chernomorsk, Odessa and Yuzhny. Russia has declared all vessels coming to Ukrainian ports as potential military targets. However, so far none of the civilian vessels has been targeted.
On September 17, two bulk carriers under the flag of Palau came to the port of Chernomorsk in the Odessa region. If they also leave there safely, Ukraine may celebrate another successful operation along the alternative grain corridor.
The two bulk carriers Resilient Africa and Aroyat arrived at the Ukrainian port via an alternative grain corridor, the Administration of Seaports of Ukraine reported. On September 16, the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure claimed that the vessels will allegedly load 20 thousand tons of wheat for Africa and Asia.
However, the vessels came to the port at the bulk terminal, not the grain one. The set of the cargo ships allows them to transport various cargo, and what they will take out of or bring to Ukraine remains unknown.
These are far from the first vessels that have pass through the so-called alternative grain corridor launched by Kiev after the grain deal was suspended. On September 13 and 14, simultaneously with a massive attack on the Crimean peninsula, Russian warships “Vasily Bykov” and “Sergey Kotov” of the Black Sea Fleet Sea were subjected to massive strikes. During the attacks, 14 Ukrainian unmanned boats were destroyed. In recent days, Ukrainian unmanned boats have also targeted the “Samum” and “Askold” small missile ships.
According to unofficial Russian military sources, one of the Ukrainian boats slightly damaged the corps of the Vasily Bykov warship. Despite the damage, the ship continued heading to Sevastopol. “Sergey Kotov” was operating nearby.
As soon as the Russian “Vasily Bykov” departed from the patrol area, on September 15, a Puma civilian vessel under the flag of the Cayman Islands left the Odessa region and headed along the already run-in route along the coast of Ukraine and Romania to the south. It was escorted to Romanian territorial waters by two boats of the Naval Guard of the Ukrainian Navy, MiG-29 fighters patrolled the airspace over the Odessa region, and American P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft operated over Romania.
The ongoing transit of the vessels in the Black Sea confirms that Kiev launched the alternative corridor and that the Ukrainian military can distract Russian warships with attacks by unmanned boats.
In its turn, the Russian military continues daily strikes throughout Ukraine, constantly targeting the port infrastructure in the southern regions. In particular, last night, explosions thundered in the ports of Kiliya and Izmail.
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