A floating sea mine struck a Liberian-flagged bulk cargo carrying wheat in the Black Sea during Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s ports.
According to Reuters, the ship likely collided with a floating sea mine. Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Georgia S, carrying wheat, was impaired at sea after leaving the Pivdennyi port in Ukraine’s Odesa Oblast, per four maritime and trade sources cited by Reuters.
As reported by Reuters, an unnamed Ukrainian government source stated that the ship had most likely collided with a floating sea mine.
According to MarineTraffic, a ship monitoring analytics business, the Georgia S bulk carrier is on its way to Romania’s port of Constanta.
Since the start of its invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Russia has maintained a de facto blockade of Ukrainian seaports.
Russia cancelled a UN-backed grain pact in July last year. The grain agreement enabled Ukraine to send grains via a secure shipping channel.
Following Russia’s withdrawal from the grain accord, the Russian Armed Forces conducted weekly missile and drone assaults on Ukrainian ports, primarily targeting the port infrastructure and grain facilities in Odesa Oblast.
On September 4, 2022, British intelligence reported that Russia may employ naval mines to target civilian ships in the Black Naval, blaming Ukraine for any assaults.
Ukraine has established a temporary “humanitarian corridor” for cargo ships, and ten vessels have used it to enter and exit Ukraine’s Black Sea ports from August 2023.
Since August, more than 100 ships have passed via Ukraine’s Black Sea humanitarian corridor, delivering about 3.7 million tons of food and commodities.
Source: Maritime Shipping News