Live: Three more grain ships depart from Ukraine, Turkey says – FRANCE 24 English | Gmx Pharm

Three more ships loaded with grain sailed out of Ukraine on Friday as part of a UN-backed deal to lift Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said. Her departure came on the occasion of a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi for talks on ending the war in Ukraine and starting a new war in Syria. Follow the FRANCE 24 live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

1:36 p.m.: Russia bans Western investors from selling stakes in some key companies, including Sakhakin-1

Russia has banned investors from so-called “unfriendly countries” from selling stakes in certain strategic companies until the end of the year, according to a presidential decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Friday. The ban also applies to interests in Sakhakin-1 oil and gas production in Russia’s Far East.

12:30 p.m.: Frontline Ukrainian city imposes weekend curfew to root out collaborators

Ukraine’s southern frontline city of Mykolaiv will impose an unusually long curfew from late Friday until early Monday morning as authorities try to catch people collaborating with Russia, the region’s governor said.

Mykolaiv, which came under fire during the Russian invasion that began February 24, is near Russian-held parts of the strategically important Kherson region, where Ukraine plans to launch a counteroffensive.

Vitaliy Kim, governor of Mykoliav region, told residents that the curfew from 11pm (2000 GMT) Friday to 5am Monday did not mean the city was threatened or faced an imminent attack. “There are no signs of encirclement. The city will be closed over the weekend. Please understand. We are also working on collaborators. Districts are under review,” Kim said on Telegram.

11:54 am: Russia kicks out 14 Bulgarian diplomats

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Friday that Moscow had declared 14 Bulgarian diplomats persona non grata. Bulgaria earlier this summer expelled 70 Russian diplomatic staff over espionage concerns and capped Moscow’s representation as ties between two countries that were once close allies fell apart over Ukraine.

11:39 am: Russia says it destroyed two US-made howitzers in Ukraine

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Friday said it had destroyed two US-made M777 howitzers in Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region, Russian news outlets reported. Reuters was unable to independently verify Battlefield accounts from either side.

10:22 am: Russian-backed separatists say they have taken the village of Pisky in eastern Ukraine

Russian and pro-Russian forces have taken complete control of Pisky, a village on the outskirts of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the TASS news agency quoted separatist forces as saying on Friday.

They also said that fighting took place in the city of Bakhmut north of Donetsk. Ukraine’s military said Thursday Russian forces had carried out at least two attacks on Pisky but were repelled.

Moscow is attempting to control the largely Russian-speaking Donbass, which consists of the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, where pro-Moscow separatists have seized territory.

9:35 am: Three more grain ships leave Ukraine, Turkey says

Three more ships loaded with grain sailed out of Ukraine on Friday as part of a UN-backed deal to lift Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

The Panama-flagged Navistar left Odessa for Ireland with 33,000 tons of grain, sources said.

And two ships left the port of Chornomorsk – the Maltese-flagged Rojen was bound for Britain with 13,000 tons of grain, and the Turkish-flagged Polarnet was sailing for Turkey with 12,000 tons of grain.

An empty Barbados-flagged ship, the Fulmar, is en route to the port of Chornomorsk to be loaded with grain, sources said.

7:54 am: Britain says Russia’s actions at Zaporizhzhia power plant are likely to undermine its security

Measures taken by Russian forces at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant are likely to have undermined the safety and security of the power plant’s normal operations, Britain said on Friday.

“Russian forces are likely to have used the wider plant area, particularly the adjacent town of Enerhodar, to rest their forces and use the nuclear power plant’s protected status to reduce the risk to their equipment and personnel from overnight Ukrainian attacks,” Britain said in an intelligence update on Twitter.

Russia’s intentions regarding the power plant remain unclear after five months of occupying Ukraine. Its forces are likely to operate in regions adjacent to the power plant, having used artillery units stationed in those areas to attack Ukrainian territory on the west bank of the Dnipro River, Britain said.

7:49 am: Russia is ready to discuss prisoner swaps with US, Lavrov says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday Moscow is ready to discuss prisoner exchanges with Washington through an existing diplomatic channel.

“We are ready to discuss this issue, but within the channel agreed upon by Presidents Putin and Biden,” Lavrov said.

A Russian court on Thursday sentenced US basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison on drug charges. Her conviction could now pave the way for a US-Russia prisoner swap that would include the 31-year-old athlete and a prolific Russian arms dealer.

6:02 a.m.: Ukraine is calling for the Black Sea Grains Agreement to be extended to other products

Ukraine has demanded that the deal, which eases Russia’s blockade on its Black Sea grain exports, be extended to other products such as metals, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

“This agreement is about logistics, about the movement of ships through the Black Sea,” Ukraine’s Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka told FT. “What is the difference between grain and iron ore?”

4:36 am: Erdogan to probe Putin regarding Ukraine and Syria

The end of the war in Ukraine and the start of a new one in Syria are expected to dominate Friday’s talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan will ride high on diplomatic success in helping orchestrate the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments across the Black Sea when he visits Sochi for his second talks with Putin in just over two weeks.

But there are tensions. The Turkish leader was told by Putin in Tehran last month that Russia remains opposed to any new offensive Turkey might plan against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

Analysts believe these strains are part of the “competitive collaboration” that has shaped the relationship between the two leading companies over the past 20 years.

4:04 am: Three grain ships leave Ukraine; NATO chief says Russia must not win

Three ships loaded with grain left Ukrainian ports on Friday under a recently struck safe-passage deal, Turkey’s Defense Ministry and Reuters witnesses said.

The first grain ship to set sail from a Ukrainian port since the Russian invasion began left Odessa on Monday.

2:16 am: Ukraine says it has been forced to cede some territories in the east

Ukraine said it was forced to cede some territories in the east of the country in the face of a Russian offensive, and the head of the NATO military alliance said Moscow must not win the war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week described the pressure his forces were under in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine as “hell”. He spoke of fierce fighting around the town of Avdiivka and the fortified village of Pisky, where Kyiv has acknowledged the “partial success” of its Russian opponent in recent days.

00:29: Canada will send military trainers to Britain to teach Ukrainian troops

Canada is sending military trainers to Britain to teach Ukrainians how to fight invading Russian forces, Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Wednesday.

Up to 225 members of the Canadian Armed Forces will eventually be stationed in the UK for an initial four-month period, Anand said. You will work with colleagues from the UK, the Netherlands and New Zealand to train Ukrainian troops in the basics of soldiering.

“This is an all hands on deck moment for allies and partners supporting Ukraine,” Anand said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

A former Canadian military training mission based in Ukraine was suspended just weeks before the invasion began.

© Graphic studio France Médias Monde

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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