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Turkish cargo ship hits mine in Black Sea, sustains minor damage

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 6, 2023 1:51 PM 2 min read
The last grain ship in the Black Sea before Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17, 2023. (Photo by Sercan Ozkurnazli/ dia images via Getty Images)
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A Turkish cargo ship suffered minor damage from a mine 20 kilometers from the Romanian port of Sulina on the Black Sea, British maritime security company Ambrey reported on Oct. 5.

The crew was unharmed and the damage was slight enough that the ship could resume its voyage.  An unnamed Ukrainian source quoted by Reuters confirmed that the ship had struck a mine, commenting that it was "probably a World War II mine, or the landing mines that were left there last year."

Russia unilaterally exited the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17, effectively ending the safe passage of cargo ships through the Black Sea. As a result, Ukraine opened a humanitarian corridor near the Romanian and Bulgarian coasts that would allow cargo ships to continue to transit through the Black Sea.

The route is not without risk to those who use it. The Russian Defense Ministry has said that all vessels sailing to Ukrainian ports would be considered "potential carriers of military cargo" and, therefore, legitimate targets.

On Oct. 4, British intelligence issued a report cautioning that Russia may use sea mines to target civilian cargo ships in the Black Sea, and then blame Ukraine after the fact.

The State Border Guard of Ukraine warned that the Black Sea had become unsafe in the aftermath of Russia's destruction of the Nova Khakovka dam in June 2023.

In addition to the garbage, debris, and dead animals resulting from the dam explosion, floating mines and ammunition also littered the water.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 17 – Black Sea grain deal is dead. What can Ukraine do?
Episode #17 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to the Black Sea grain deal, how Russia weaponized it, and ultimately killed it.
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