Israeli and Greek Ships Break Through Russia's 'Grain Blockade' in the Black Sea

Blockade Black Sea

On Monday, 31 July, the Israeli ship Ams1 successfully broke through the Russian blockade of the Black Sea and entered the Ukrainian branch of the Danube, despite threats from Russia. The vessel had set sail from the city of Ashdod and became the first to defy the Russian "grain blockade" after the shelling of Reni.

According to reports from Militarny, on the night of 30 July, three civilian vessels, including Ams1 from Israel, Sahin 2 from Greece, and Yilmaz Kaptan from Turkey/Georgia, passed through the Bosporus Strait and set their course for Ukraine. Ams1 openly stated its destination as Ukraine when departing from Israel and traversing the Black Sea directly.

Following Ams1, four more vessels, including Sahin 2, Yilmaz Kaptan, Sealock, and Afer, are also making their way to anchor on the Danube, either already having arrived or expected to do so in the near future.

The safe passage of these vessels is being ensured by the American anti-ship patrol aircraft Boeing P-8 Poseidon, which is refuelled in the Romanian sky. Additionally, the Forte12 RQ-4 reconnaissance drone provides valuable information about the maritime situation.

The grain deal, which had ceased to function on 18 July, faced condemnation from the EU, promises of continued efforts from the UN and Turkey, and hopes from Ukraine for the grain corridor to function without Russia's interference. However, on 20 July, Russia declared all ships sailing to Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea as carrying military cargo, considering them legitimate military targets. Simultaneously, the Kremlin plans to export grain to Africa stolen from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, with the "free" grain promised to African countries after Russia withdrew from the "grain deal" being taken from the occupied territories in Zaporizhzhia.

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