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Explosion hits Greek-owned ship on way to Ukraine

by editor

ATHENS — A Greek-owned cargo ship struck a mine in the Black Sea on Wednesday as it was en route to Ukraine to be loaded with grain.

The Panamanian-flagged vessel “Vyssos” was sailing toward the Ukrainian port of Izmail when it hit the explosive device in the Black Sea’s Danube Delta, according to several Greek officials who spoke to POLITICO.

The resulting explosion caused damage to the ship and a small fire, while also resulting in minor injuries to two Greek sailors and an Egyptian cook, the officials said.

Ukrainian authorities dispatched rescuers and doctors to the ship where they treated the injured crew, the officials added.

The vessel is now heading to the port of Izmail accompanied by tugboats and is expected to arrive Friday.

A U.N.-brokered deal that saw Russia agree not to attack grain vessels or port infrastructure collapsed in July, with Moscow commencing a heavy barrage of rockets that destroyed Ukrainian warehouses full of produce just hours after the Kremlin’s unilateral withdrawal from the pact. Moscow’s forces have continued to attack Ukraine’s Black Sea ports with missiles and drones in the subsequent months.

However, Kyiv has since set out to challenge the Kremlin’s control over the Black Sea and has established a “humanitarian corridor” offering safe passage to container ships running routes through the mine-strewn shipping lanes.

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