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Ukraine: The Latest – Kyiv strike on Russian oil tanker a “significant moment in the war”


Foreign correspondent James Kilner explains the story of a naval drone attack on an oil tanker off the Crimea:

This happened shortly before midnight on Friday.

Ukraine is trying to undermine the Kremlin’s semblance of control, trying to bring the war to ordinary Russians, and is linked to its increasing drone attacks on Moscow itself, and on oil facilities and other industrial enterprises in Russia, it’s been going on. for a while with drones.

Now this was a diversion because this was the first attack on an alleged civilian ship in the Black Sea since the war began. Some grainy black and white footage showed the naval drone searching for its target, finding its target, and then crashing into it.

Later pictures showed the cockpit area; the ceilings had collapsed, the desk was scattered, papers everywhere and there was water in one of the engine rooms. A Russian news agency said that Russia deployed two tugboats to tow this tanker to the port because it had run out of power. Now the tanker itself is a really important target as it is flying the Russian flag.

We know that it had previously been sanctioned by the US in 2019 because it is one of the tankers that Russia has been using to supply jet fuel to its air force in Syria. It would pick up its cargo at one of Russia’s ports on the Azov Sea, sail through the Kerch Strait, across the Black Sea, across the Bosphorus, past Istanbul, into the Mediterranean, and then dock in Syria.

Analysts said this is a fair military target because it was once again transporting jet fuel to the Russian air force.

Assistant Comments Editor Francis Dearnley talks about the implications of this attack:

The attacks on shipping in the Black Sea are interesting; Ukrainian officials have also issued a notice to sailors using a number of Russian ports that they may be the target of offensive operations. According to one estimate, 30% of Russia’s oil exports leave these ports. Significantly, there is not enough pipeline infrastructure to transport all the oil that China is buying, so ships are still used. Russia may be trying to starve the world through grain terrorism, but the Ukraine seems to be trying to cut off the oil exports that still sustain the Russian war machine.

Francis continues:

Wheat prices have risen further after Ukraine threatened to cut off a key export route for Russian staples through the Black Sea. This is important for its energy markets, but it is also important for food: Russia moves most of its grain via waterway and is in the midst of a second bumper crop, making this a time crucial to get crops to markets and ensure a sufficient supply to limit global food costs. The executive director of the broker and adviser IKON Commodities said: “The risk in the Black Sea is increasing day by day and any threat to Russian exports is much more potent than a threat to the Ukrainian export corridor.”

Wheat futures in Chicago, the global benchmark, rose as much as 3.4% to $6.545 a bushel. Prices closed 1% higher on Friday, paring most of a 4.3% intraday gain after Ukraine’s attack on the warship. Traffic in the port was halted for several hours.

Listen to Ukraine: the latestThe Telegraph daily podcast, using the audio player at the top of this article or at Apple Podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast app.

The war in Ukraine is reshaping our world. Every weekday, The Telegraph’s top journalists look at the invasion from every angle – military, humanitarian, political, economic, historical – and tell you what you need to know to stay up to date.

With over 40 million downloads, our Ukraine: the latest podcast is your go-to source for the latest analysis, live reaction, and correspondents reporting from the ground. We have been broadcasting since the full-scale invasion began.

Ukraine: the latestRegular contributors to are:

David Knowles

David is head of audio development at The Telegraph, where he has worked for almost three years. He has reported from all over Ukraine during the full-scale invasion.

dominic nicholls

Dom is Associate Editor (Defense) at The Telegraph, having joined in 2018. He previously served for 23 years in the British Army, in tank and helicopter units. He had operational deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

francis dearnley

Francis is assistant comments editor at The Telegraph. Before working as a journalist, he was Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board at the Houses of Parliament in London. He studied history at Cambridge University and in the podcast he explores how the past sheds light on recent diplomatic, political and strategic developments.

They are also regularly joined by The Telegraph’s foreign correspondents around the world, including joe barnes (Brussels), sofia yan (Porcelain), natalia vasilyeva (Russia), roland oliphant (Senior reporter) and colin freeman (Reporter). In London, venice rainey (Foreign weekend editor), katie o’neill (Assistant Foreign Editor), and true archer (News Reporter) also appear frequently to provide updates.

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