The Kremlin said Monday that a strike on the Ukrainian port town of Odesa would not impact grain exports as it only hit military targets – however, the latest update from the MoD claims that no such targets were in the area.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered reassurances over Russian grain supplies a day after the strikes at Odesa, amid uncertainty over a deal to resume Ukrainian exports from the Black Sea.
An MoD intelligence update claims that no military targets were in the area.
It reads: “On 24 July 2022, Russian cruise missiles hit the dock-side in Ukraine’s Odesa Port. The Russian MoD claimed to have hit a Ukrainian warship and a stockpile of anti-ship missiles. There is no indication that such targets were at the location the missiles hit.
Russia almost certainly perceives anti-ship missiles as a key threat which is limiting the effectiveness of their Black Sea Fleet. This has significantly undermined the overall invasion plan, as Russia cannot realistically attempt an amphibious assault to seize Odesa.
“Russia will continue to prioritise efforts to degrade and destroy Ukraine’s anti-ship capability. However, Russia’s targeting processes are highly likely routinely undermined by dated intelligence, poor planning, and a top-down approach to operations.”
Ukraine has accused Moscow of waging a "gas war" against Europe and cutting supplies to inflict "terror" on people.
Gazprom announced it is once again reducing gas flows into Germany to allow work on a turbine on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
But Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said this was simply "gas blackmail" against Europe adding: “The gas blackmail of Europe, which only gets worse every month, is needed by a terrorist state to make the life of every European worse.”
The EU, which received 40% of its gas from Russia last year, has also accused Russia of using energy as a weapon.
Earlier this month, Russia's biggest European pipeline was completely shut down for a 10-day maintenance break, sparking fears in Europe that shipments would not resume at all.