Russia attacked Ukraine’s grain infrastructure for the third night in a row. The airstrikes hit Ukrainian ports in Odesa, damaging China’s consulate, as well as 27 civilians who reported injuries from the strikes.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday on Telegram, “Russian terrorists deliberately targeted the grain deal’s infrastructure, and every Russian missile is a blow not only to Ukraine, but to everyone in the world who wants a normal and safe life,” The New York Times reported.

He also claimed “the attacks were the largest since the war began, and he accused Russia of trying to weaponize hunger and destabilize the global food market,” CNN reported.

Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Deal Monday after Ukraine sent airstrikes that damaged a section of the bridge connecting the annexed Crimean peninsula with Russia’s mainland, per the Deseret News.

According to Reuters, “The signals that Russia was willing to use force to reimpose its blockade of one of the world’s biggest food exporters set global prices soaring.”

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Of the 31 cruise missiles fired Tuesday night, Ukraine says 14 were destroyed, as well as 23 out of 32 Shahed attack drones, per CNN. One missile that was intercepted exploded, causing a blast wave that damaged buildings and injured civilians, per the Times. Approximately 60,000 tons of grain were destroyed when grain export infrastructure at Chornomorsk port southwest of Odesa was struck, per Reuters.

According to Ukraine’s Air Force, the attack “was one of the largest sustained aerial assaults on Odesa, the country’s largest port,” per the Times.

Russia has not responded yet, but did say it sent the strikes as “a mass revenge strike” for the explosions that damaged the bridge in Crimea — a region Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014, according to Reuters.

What is the Black Sea Grain Deal Initiative?

In 2022, the United Nations and Turkey brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative to address concerns about a global food crisis after Russia invaded Ukraine — a key exporter of grain to other countries, per the Deseret News.

Under the agreement, it “oversaw the transport of 725,167 tons of wheat to sail on World Food Program ships to some of the world’s most food insecure countries, such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen,” CNBC reported.

According to The Associated Press, “Wheat prices rose more than 2.5% on Tuesday and over 3% on Wednesday amid the Russian attacks in Odesa,” following “jitters in global markets after Moscow withdrew from the grain deal, threatening to worsen hunger in some parts of the globe.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock tweeted, “Putin hasn’t just blown up the Black Sea Grain Initiative; now he has hit the port city of Odesa with a hail of bombs for the second consecutive night.” She added, “In doing that, he is robbing the world of any hope of Ukrainian grain. Every one of his bombs also hits the world’s poorest,” AP reported.

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Russian missiles strike a restaurant in Ukraine, killing and injuring civilians
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