Putin BREAKS grain export deal after just HOURS as missiles rain down on Odesa port

The Ukrainian military announced that the strikes had hit the port of Odesa in the Black Sea in the early hours of this morning. 

Putin had just struck a “life-saving” deal to break his blockade on the port, which included an agreement not to target ports while grain shipments were in transit.

Ukraine and Russia had signed identical but separate agreements with UN and Turkish officials, following talks in Iran between Putin and Turkey’s President Erdogan.

The deal allowed up to five million tons of grain to be moved out of Odesa, guided through sea mines by pilot ships, while the tyrant agreed not to attack them.

This comes after the UN said 44million people were “marching towards starvation” due to the war and drought, and called the deal “beacon of hope”.

Red Cross chief Robert Mardini described the deal as “nothing short of life-saving”.

But Putin appears to have immediately betrayed the deal by attacking infrastructure on the port just hours after signing it.

Ukraine’s Operational Command South wrote on Telegram: “The enemy attacked the Odesa sea trade port with Kalibr cruise missiles; two missiles were shot down by air defense forces; two hit the infrastructure of the port.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss had warned Putin may yet fail to honour his promise, saying: “We will be watching to ensure Russia’s actions match its words.”

She added the only route to lasting security was for Vladimir Putin to end the war and withdraw from Ukraine.

Oleh Nikolenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, said: “The Russian missile is Vladimir Putin’s spit in the face of UN Secretary General António Guterres and President of Turkey Recep Erdogan, who made enormous efforts to reach an agreement, and to whom Ukraine is grateful.”

Oleksiy Honcharenko, a local MP, wrote on Telegram that the city’s port had caught fire after the attack.

He said: “These scumbags sign contracts with one hand and direct missiles with the other.

“So, we need planes and we need to sink the entire Black Sea fleet of the Russian Federation. This will be the best arrangement for the export of grain.”

Andriy Yermak, the head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, accused Russia of “systematically creating a food crisis”.

It is unclear whether there were casualties or substantial damage.

The cost of living crisis has been greatly worsened by Ukraine being unable to export grain, squeezing supply. 

Ukraine is the fifth largest grain producer with 22million tons in silos near Odesa.

Wheat prices had plunged to pre-war levels on news of yesterday’s deal, which was brokered in Istanbul and attended by ex-Chelsea owner and oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Putin’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had previously insisted Russia had no plans to attack Ukraine days before February’s invasion, claimed: “We will not take advantage of the fact that the ports will be cleared.”

The deal – which took two months to reach – is set to last for 120 days, with a co-ordination and monitoring centre to be established in Istanbul, staffed by UN, Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials. It can be renewed if both parties agree.

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