Russia Suspends Ukraine Grain Deal After Crimean Bridge Attack

Jul 18, 2023

On Monday, Russia halted a deal that let Ukraine send grain to other countries through the Black Sea. This came just after a drone attack that damaged a bridge that leads to the Crimea region, which Russia controls.

Ukrainian officials did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack. However, CNN reported that an anonymous official told the network that the bridge attack came from Ukraine. Meanwhile, a Kremlin official said Russia’s decision to stop the deal was not linked to the attack.  

Russian media said the bridge attack killed a Russian couple and injured their 14-year-old daughter.

The attacks were caused by floating drones on the 12-mile Kerch Bridge. It occurred around 3am local time. Satellite pictures showed the explosions caused great damage to  the bridge. Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a terror attack. He vowed to fight back.

The Kerch Bridge is an important way for Russian soldiers to get supplies.  The bridge connects Crimea to the rest of southern Ukraine. Russia seized Crimea by force in 2014. This attack on Monday morning was the second attack on the Kerch Bridge since October 2022.

Dmitry Peskov is a Kremlin spokesman. He said Russia stopped the Black Sea Grain Initiative because Russia wasn't able to send its fertilizer and food to other parts of the world. He said that this was why they stopped the deal. The agreement was supposed to make sure that the war didn't stop food from being sent to countries that need it. Ukraine is known as “the breadbasket of Europe.” The agreement had let them send grain and other food out to these countries.  

Photo by Reuters. 

Reflect: Do you think it’s possible for two nations to fight a war without harming innocent civilians? Explain.

Which word from the story means “to come to an abrupt stop”? (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
a. “vowed”
b. “halted”
c. “linked”
d. “Initiative”
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