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Why is putin attacking Odesa

Why is putin attacking Odesa

The refusal to extend the grain agreement shifted the focus of russian missile attacks to the south of Ukraine. Since July 17, the port facilities of Odesa, Mykolaiv, Ochakiv, and Chornomorsk have been subjected to almost the largest missile attacks since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The targets of the “retaliatory strikes”, as the occupiers call them, were infrastructure objects, in particular the grain and oil terminals of the port of Odesa and Chornomorsk.

Why did russia resort to missile strikes on the port infrastructure and civilian objects of Odesa?

First, the kremlin resorts to the most brutal forms of revenge for the transfer of hostilities to the territory of russia. Rashist attacks should demonstrate to the average russian the inevitability of retribution for the shelling of russian cities. In this way, the focus of the community’s attention is shifted from the real reasons for such shelling, economic decline and threats of continued mobilization to propaganda rhetoric about the need to destroy the “Nazi state”. In the opinion of the kremlin, this will help curb the anti-war sentiments that are rapidly spreading in the regions of russia.

Secondly, the russian federation is attacking the port infrastructure in order to destroy Ukraine’s export potential and thus make the country even more dependent on Western aid. Last year, agricultural exports brought Ukraine more than 20 billion dollars and, along with financial aid from the West, became the main source of foreign exchange in the war-torn country. putin expects that the need for additional Western financial subsidies to Ukraine will activate anti-Ukrainian sentiments in Western society and force their leadership to reconsider their attitude to support for Kyiv. Therefore, one of the kremlin’s goals was to spoil relations with countries that depend on grain supplies from Ukraine. The termination of the grain agreement has already caused a conflict in the EU, because the attempt to replace the sea route of transporting Ukrainian grain to Europe by land has met with strong protests from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia due to price dumping and protests by local farmers. Also, according to the kremlin’s plan, a disruption in the logistics of grain supplies to African countries will create hunger riots there and provoke mass illegal migration to EU countries.

Thirdly, by destroying seaports, the kremlin is trying to remove a competitor from the world food market. moscow’s intentions to supply the world market with the required amount of grain instead of the Ukrainian one were personally confirmed by the president of the russian federation at a meeting with the government on July 19. According to putin, russia expects a record grain harvest and is ready to replace Ukrainian grain “for free or on a commercial basis.”

Fourth, by shelling ports, russia is trying to stop the passage of foreign ships to Ukrainian ports, which, in their opinion, secretly bring Western weapons to Ukraine. For the same purpose, the kremlin strikes the facilities of port cities, because it believes that Ukraine stores military equipment there. With missile terror, the russian federation wants to completely deprive Ukraine of access to the Black Sea and neutralize all international efforts to restore the functioning of the grain corridor. Undoubtedly, shelling of Ukrainian ports is a certain signal to the Turkish leader about the need to review military support for Ukraine.

What shall we do?

russia’s suspension of the grain agreement did not come as a surprise to the West, as it was preparing for such a scenario. Adviser to the US president on national security issues J. Sullivan stated that the US is ready for any turn and is closely cooperating with Ukraine in this direction.

Theoretically, it is possible to export Ukrainian grain outside the boundaries of the grain initiative, using the territorial waters of Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. The main problem with the use of this option is security guarantees, because moscow considers any ships departing from Ukrainian ports to be military targets. Turkey’s readiness to cooperate with Ukraine without the participation of russia depends on the political will of R. Erdogan, because up to 10% of all grain exported from Ukraine went to Turkey.

It is clear that russia will do everything in its power to hinder the functioning of the grain initiative without it. It is no coincidence that the start of missile attacks on Odesa coincided with the initiative of the Ukrainian side to continue transporting grain without the participation of moscow.

❗️It is obvious that all actions aimed at disrupting the grain agreement were part of a pre-designed plan, and the targeted shelling of the Ukrainian port infrastructure became another step in the implementation of these intentions. There is every reason to believe that the kremlin will not stop in its desire to completely destroy the port infrastructure of Ukraine. Therefore, the most important task of Ukraine is the additional deployment and improvement of the air defense system around the southern ports. Experts believe that the Patriot and NASAMS anti-aircraft missile complexes are the most effective against russian missiles used in the south (P-800 Onyx, Kh-22, Iskander-M and Iskander-K).

  • 25 July, 2023

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