Ukraine accuses Russia of airdropping explosives into Black Sea grain corridor

Credit: International Maritime Organization

The Russian Air Force has dropped explosive devices into the Black Sea, targeting a grain shipping corridor used by Ukrainian ships, Ukrainian military sources have reported.  

Ukraine’s Operational Command South released a statement on Facebook detailing the events that transpired in the early hours of October 25, 2023.  

The statement highlighted the airdrop of “four unidentified weapons, likely bottom mines, in the Black Sea, directed towards the navigation corridors of civil shipping.” 

The United Nations (UN) and Turkey established the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement in July 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was designed to allow grain shipments from specific Ukrainian ports to the world’s poorest countries that rely on Black Sea grains. According to the UN, more than two-thirds of the grain from this agreement will go to these developing countries. 

Any disruption in the grain corridor could have significant implications for Ukraine’s grain export operations. More critically, it could jeopardize the food security of the nations that are the primary beneficiaries of the UN-brokered agreement. 

While Ukrainian forces, detected the Russian aircraft responsible for the alleged mine deployment, they were unable to intercept it. 

According to Reuters, Ukraine halted operations in its Black Sea grain export corridor on October 26, 2023, due to potential threats from Russian warplanes and the presence of sea mines, and the suspension is likely to be extended.  

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