War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

Ukrainian vessels pass through Danube rivermouth

Ukraine sparked hopes Tuesday for an increase in grain exports despite Russia’s blockade of Black Sea ports, noting that ships had started to pass through an important mouth of the Danube river.

“In the last four days, 16 ships have passed through the Bystre rivermouth,” Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuriy Vaskov stated. He noted that the 16 vessels were now waiting to be loaded with Ukrainian grain for export to foreign markets, while more than 90 more vessels were awaiting their turn in Romania’s Sulina canal.

The Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmitro Kuleba said he doubts that Russia would change its stance on the blockage of grain exports. “I only see one potential reason: that they want to show the countries of Africa and Asia that they want to save them from food shortages. But it is true, Russia is not interested in Ukraine exporting because they know that if we export, we will receive income from international markets and this will make us stronger,” said Kuleba.

Prices increase... Life declines

Consumer prices in Ukraine accelerated to 21.5% in June, compared to 18% a month earlier, according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. The increase, the highest since inflation reached 20% in March of 2016, is due to costs of fuel and food supplies constrained by Russia’s invasion. Ukraine's central bank has hiked interest rates to 25% to combat inflation. 

In general, nonfood products rose in price by 9.2% over the month, the price of services increased by
14.3%, while the crude food prices grew to 36.1%.

Pigs, a worthy “target” for Kalibr

As a result of a missile attack on the Odessa region, a pig farm was destroyed. This was reported to journalists in the Pivden operational command.

“At night, the enemy launched a missile attack on the Odessa region. The building of a pig farm was destroyed. There are no human losses. Probably, a Kalibr rocket was launched from the Black Sea. About 400 pigs died,” according to press reports.

Ukraine knows cure and vaccine

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the participants in the Asian Leadership conference in Seoul: “Russian tactics must not become the global norm, and the world order must be restored. When Ukraine turns to partners for weapons for its defense and for strengthening sanctions against a terrorist state, it is not only about our defense. It’s like vaccines: if you don't help other nations, you have to be prepared for new strains of the virus that will make your own defense ineffective. And I am sincerely grateful to the Republic of Korea, which realizes that this is the situation, that we should act together.”

One hand washes the other, and not only

Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the President of Ukraine, said that Russia has been intending to involve Belarus in the ongoing war to cover the lack of its military capabilities. “Russia needs Belarusian army disposal and the power loss of the Lukashenko regime. Then – absorption of the RB and its occupation by Russian z-zombies,” he tweeted.

Details not known, but they can be essential

Kyiv received assurances from France that the European Political Community is not an alternative to Ukraine’s eventual entry into the EU. „We have not received details on the proposal. France is working on the detailed concept of this community, the idea about it that we have in Kyiv is the same that they have in Madrid, in Rome or in other capitals,” Foreign Minister Kuleba stated in an interview with the Spanish paper País.

Putin and Biden, concomitantly, but in parallel too

President Vladimir Putin is to visit Iran next week, just one day after the United States accused Iran of sending weapons-capable drones to Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced on Tuesday that Putin will travel to Tehran next Tuesday 19 July, to take part in a tripartite meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts as part of the Astana peace process to end the war in Syria.

Putin intends to leave for Tehran right after the end of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia to discuss Iran’s nuclear program and malign activities in the region.

The White House said on Monday that it believes that Russia is turning to Iran to provide it with “hundreds” of drones, including those capable of carrying weapons, for use in Ukraine.

People want international tribunal for war crimes

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court called Thursday for an international “overarching strategy” to coordinate efforts to bring perpetrators of war crimes in Ukraine to justice.  

The simple truth is that, as we speak, children, women and men, the young and the old, are living in terror,” ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said as he opened a Ukraine Accountability Conference in The Hague.

In a video message to the meeting, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the international community to establish a tribunal to prosecute Russian leaders for the crime of aggression — when one state launches an unjustified attack on another.

The ICC does not have jurisdiction to prosecute the crime of aggression in Ukraine because neither Russia nor Ukraine is among the court’s 123 member states.

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