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Russia accuses US of Ukraine war role, grain ship anchors off Turkish coast

Russia accuses US of Ukraine war role, grain ship anchors off Turkish coast

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By Reuters  IST (Published)

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Russia's defence ministry, headed by a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the interview showed that Washington was entangled in the conflict despite repeated assertions that it was limiting its role to arms supplies

Russia on Tuesday accused the United States of direct involvement in the Ukraine war while the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to world markets since Moscow's invasion anchored safely off Turkey's coast after a problem-free journey.
Russia said it was responding to comments by Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine's deputy head of military intelligence, about the way Kyiv used US-supplied long-range HIMARs rocket-launch systems based on what he called excellent satellite imagery and real-time information.
Skibitsky told Britain's Telegraph newspaper there was consultation between US and Ukrainian intelligence officials before strikes and that Washington had an effective veto on intended targets, though he said US officials were not providing direct targeting information.
Russia's defence ministry, headed by a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the interview showed that Washington was entangled in the conflict despite repeated assertions that it was limiting its role to arms supplies because it did not want a confrontation with Moscow.
"All this undeniably proves that Washington, contrary to White House and Pentagon claims, is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine," the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.
"It is the Biden administration that is directly responsible for all Kyiv-approved rocket attacks on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in populated areas of Donbas and other regions, which have resulted in mass deaths of civilians."
There was no immediate reaction to the ministry's allegations from the White House or Pentagon.
Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of carrying out devastating missile attacks on civilian targets on an almost daily basis. Both sides deny deliberately targeting civilians.
Deliveries of sophisticated long-range weapons systems from Western nations to Ukraine are seen as vital if Kyiv's forces are to turn the tide of the war, in which Russia relies heavily on long-distance bombardments of urban areas.
Safe Passage
Russia's verbal attack on Washington came after Turkey said that the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain since Russia's invasion blocked exports more than five months ago was on track to arrive safely in Istanbul on Tuesday night.
The vessel, the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni, safely anchored at the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to world markets, at around 18:00 GMT, some 36 hours after departing from Ukraine's major port of Odesa.
The Razoni's departure under a July 22 safe passage deal has raised hopes of further such departures, which could help ease a burgeoning global food shortage.
Loaded with 26,527 tonnes of corn, the ship was to be inspected by Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and UN officials from the new Joint Coordination Centre at 07:00 GMT on Wednesday before continuing to its planned final destination, the Lebanese port of Tripoli, according to Turkey's Defence Ministry.
"The plan is for a ship to leave every day," a senior Turkish official told Reuters, referring to Odesa and two other Ukrainian ports covered by the deal. "If nothing goes wrong, exports will be made via one ship a day for a while."
The United Nations has warned of the risk of multiple famines this year because of the war in Ukraine.
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