Live Updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

A US official told CNN that the US has information that the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet “has received orders to effectively block the Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Oshakov,” citing what was described as recently declassified intelligence.

According to this official, that intelligence also revealed indications that Russian forces were deploying mines in the Black Sea and had previously mined the Dnipro River.

Western officials have accused Moscow of “weaponizing” food supplies as leaders and experts warn of a looming food crisis with millions of tons of Ukrainian grain unable to reach the global market because of the war.

“We can confirm that despite Russia’s public claims that it does not mine in the northwest Black Sea, Russia is actually deploying mines in the Black Sea near Ochakiv,” the US official told CNN Thursday.

Watchman I first reported the results of the newly declassified intelligence.

Moscow claimed that it does not impede agricultural shipments from Ukraine and said that Kyiv should remove mines from the waters so that ships can pass.

“The Russian Federation does not put any obstacles to the passage of ships or ships. We do not prevent anything,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in early June.

In a call with reporters on Thursday, Hosted by the US State Department’s Africa Regional Information Center, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, “We should not be persuaded by the argument that it was Ukraine that closed the sea with its mines in order not to let the cargo or ships in and out.”

“Russia was drilling in the sea. We were drilling in the sea to defend ourselves. The Russians were drilling in it – not to allow – our ships to be destroyed,” he said. “The real issue is what happens when the port is cleared. Who will ensure and how can you ensure that Russia will not abuse the open port and attack Odessa from the sea? This is the question everyone is worried about: How do you make sure that Russia does not attack Odessa from the sea? “.