Foreign correspondent Joe Barnes begins by reporting on the night strikes in southern Ukraine.
The top lines are the continued missile attacks on Odessa and Mykolaiv. These are the main port cities of Ukraine. Odessa has been attacked three nights in a row and Mykolaiv two nights in a row. It’s all related to the collapse of the grain deal on Monday. Russia withdrew claiming they are not getting a fair deal, many people I have spoken to and everything else I have read suggests they are trying to improve their position. At least two deaths in Odessa and some really terrible images from the center of these cities.
As for the grain business, assistant comments editor Francis Dearnley talks more about the international reaction.
I’ve been “around the bazaars” getting insight from knowledgeable people about what else can be done. One suggested the need to think outside the box like the West during the Cold War: “there is an absence of creative thinking,” he told me, “and an acceptance that Russia holds the cards.”
Another argued that Türkiye has an important role here. They brokered the deal and have a greater obligation to escort the ships, if they can be persuaded. Insurers can also play a role. Even if shipments could be made in theory, the Russian threats mean insurers are likely to pull the plug unless they can somehow be underwritten by the West. This would mean discovering Putin’s deception and risking him sinking ships. But then we’ve said from the beginning that this is almost certainly the end of this war in a way.
Another thought: often, certain figures in the West use the threat of escalation or loss of life as a justification for doing nothing. But that in itself is a decision in a scenario like this, and one that could lead to many tens of thousands of people starving to death if the consequences in Africa are as dire as some say. By potentially saving a few lives, one potentially dooms many, many others.
Francis also spoke about the news that Vladimir Putin canceled his planned visit to South Africa to attend the BRICS summit next month:
Months ago, the ICC arrest warrant against Putin was dismissed by some as irrelevant, but again we have seen an example of how he has forced countries to make a choice in this war. In South Africa, we learn that Putin will not attend the BRICS summit in South Africa next month, where he was at risk of arrest. Instead, Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “by mutual agreement”, Pretoria said, after “a series of consultations” on the organization of the summit.
The announcement has defused an intense political dilemma for President Cyril Ramaphosa. As a member of the ICC, South Africa would have been expected to act on the court order if Putin set foot in the country for the summit along with the leaders of Brazil, India and China. But Pretoria had argued that any arrest would amount to a declaration of war against the nuclear-armed power. South African diplomats have spent months trying to find a way out of the confrontation, with suggestions including holding a remote meeting or transferring the summit to China. Pretoria said that Ramaphosa is now “confident that the summit will be a success and calls on the nation to provide the necessary hospitality to the many delegates who will arrive from various parts of the continent and the world.”
The opposition Democratic Alliance had added to the government’s embarrassment by going to court to force the ruling African National Congress to act on the order.
They could have challenged him, but they also chose not to. Some say that with the implosion of Wagner and the potential impact of Russia’s decision to withdraw from the grain deal, the West has a golden opportunity to extend its hand to African nations. It will be interesting to see if they accept it.
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 is Head of Social Media at the Telegraph where he has worked for almost two years. Previously he worked for the World Economic Forum in Geneva. He speaks French.
Dom is Associate Editor (Advocacy) 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 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 Political Council 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 Telegraphforeign correspondents from 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.