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Fire at munitions depo forces 2 Russian villages to evacuate in another destructive incident behind enemy lines

By Associated Press
August 19, 2022

KYIV, Ukraine— A fire at a munitions depot near the Russian village of Timonovo has led to the evacuation of two villages in Russia’s Belgorod region on Ukraine’s northeastern border, an official said Friday. The blaze was the latest in a series of destructive incidents on Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine or inside Russia itself.

Roughly 1,100 people reside in the villages of Timonovo and Soloti, around 15 miles from the Ukrainian border. There were no casualties in the blaze late Thursday, Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

The fire came days after another ammunition depot exploded on the Crimean Peninsula, a Russian-occupied territory on the Black Sea that was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Last week, nine Russian warplanes were reported destroyed at an airbase on Crimea, demonstrating both the Russians’ vulnerability and the Ukrainians’ capacity to strike deep behind enemy lines. Ukrainian authorities have stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility.

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How much grain is being shipped from Ukraine?

Over half a million tonnes of wheat and other types of food have been shipped from Ukraine's ports in the past month, says the United Nations.

On 22 July, Russia lifted its blockade of the ports, allowing ships to use a safe corridor through the Black Sea.

However, Ukraine is only exporting grain at half the rate that it was before the war.
How much grain has been stuck in Ukraine?

About 20 million tonnes of grain meant for export has been trapped in Ukraine since February, along with other foodstuffs such as maize and sunflower oil.

This has caused an undersupply of food and soaring prices in many countries around the world.

Graph showing top Ukrainian wheat importers, by country:


Zelenskiy warns of 'ugly' Russian attack before Independence Day

 President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday warned Ukrainians to be vigilant in the coming week as they prepare to celebrate their Independence Day, as fresh blasts hit Crimea and a missile wounded 12 civilians near a nuclear power plant.

In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy said Ukrainians must not allow Moscow to "spread despondency and fear" among them as they mark the 31st anniversary of independence from Soviet rule.

"We must all be aware that this week Russia could try to do something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious," Zelenskiy said ahead of the anniversary on Aug. 24, which also marks six months since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

The curfew in Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, would be extended for the entire day on Aug. 24, regional governor Oleh Synehub said. The northeastern city is regularly hit by Russian shelling and normally has a curfew from 10 pm to 6 am.

"Remain at home and take heed of warnings!" Synehub wrote in a message to residents on Telegram.

Also on Saturday, a Russian missile hit a residential area of a southern Ukrainian town not far from a nuclear power station, wounding 12 civilians, Russian and Ukrainian officials said.

That strike at the Pivdennoukrainsk (South Ukraine) nuclear station and fresh shelling near the Zaporizhzhia station, Europe's largest such facility, prompted new fears of a nuclear accident during the war, Ukrainian officials said.

Zelenskiy in his address also referred obliquely to a series of explosions in recent days in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory seized and annexed by Russia during a 2014 incursion.

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attacks, but analysts have said at least some have been made possible by new equipment used by Ukrainian forces.

"You can literally feel Crimea in the air this year, that the occupation there is only temporary and that Ukraine is coming back," Zelenskiy said....................


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