Four grain ships sailed from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports Sunday.
The Joint Coordination Center, the body set up under the Black Sea Grain Initiative to monitor its implementation, authorized the departures through the maritime humanitarian corridor.
The ships moving out of Ukrainian ports are headed to China, Italy and two locations in Turkey.
A fifth ship has been authorized to sail to Ukraine to pick up cargo.
Ukraine is one of the world’s breadbaskets and the blockage of its ports has resulted in rising global food prices and the threat of famine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his daily address Saturday denounced Amnesty International for its “eloquent silence” in failing to address the Russian shelling of Zaporizhzhia NPP, the Ukrainian power plant that is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The silence, Zelenskyy said, “indicates the manipulative selectivity of this organization.”
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency addressed the nuclear power plant situation in a statement Saturday, saying, “Military action jeopardizing the safety and security of the Zaporizhzya nuclear power plant is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs.”
Amnesty International released a report last week saying that “Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas, including in schools and hospitals, as they repelled the Russian invasion that began in February.”
In response, Zelenskyy said then, “There cannot be, even hypothetically, any condition under which any Russian attack on Ukraine becomes justified. Aggression against our state is unprovoked, invasive and openly terroristic.”
Oksana Pokalchuk, the head of Amnesty International Ukraine, also took issue with the global organization’s report and has resigned from her post in protest.