Day 249: Grain Deal Tensions; Russia Relocates 70K from Kherson

Photo: pbs

The Facts

  • Ukraine, Western powers, and the UN have responded to the news that Russia has decided to suspend involvement in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Ukrainian Pres. Zelenskyy urged action from the international community, the White House accused Moscow of weaponizing food, and the UN stated the agreement has delivered food security aid to millions worldwide.

  • Russia has rebuked Western criticism of its suspension of the deal, alleging that the UK "British military specialists" had been involved in the recent drone strikes on the Crimean port of Sevastopol — which precipitated the Kremlin's decision on the grain deal — and that some drones involved in the attack had "Canadian-made navigation modules."

The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

Russia is egregiously weaponizing food as a tactic in a war it started. Withdrawing from the grain agreement is impacting low- and middle-income nations, raising food prices, and making humanitarian crises worse. The Kremlin's actions are bringing the prospect of wide-scale famine to Asia and Africa.

Pro-Russia narrative

The drone attacks on Russian ships were launched from the "grain corridor" in the Black Sea, and have the fingerprints of UK and Canadian technology. Russia has every right to re-evaluate its participation in the grain agreement if agreed-upon demilitarized areas are being used to attack Russian vessels.

Nerd narrative

There's a 19% chance there will be a bilateral cease-fire or peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia by Dec. 31, 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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