United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced a deal July 21 between Russia and Ukraine to reopen Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports. Ministers of both countries signed the deal, which was brokered by Türkiye (formerly known as Turkey) and the U.N. The announcement raised hopes that an international food crisis aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine can be eased.
But less than 24 hours later, two sea-launched Russian Kalibr cruise missiles slammed into the harbor of Odessa, a key Black Sea port from which Ukrainian grain would move. A Russian spokesperson said on her Telegram account that the Kalibr missiles destroyed “military infrastructure in the port of Odessa, with a high-precision strike.” The deal did not have an explicit cease-fire, but the attack raised concerns about how committed Russia is to the agreement.