As the Russian military makes advances in Donbas, President Vladimir Putin has spoken with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron; and with his German colleague, Olaf Scholz, and has told them that Russia is ready to resume dialogue with Ukraine and defuse the food crisis that the war is causing.

As the Kremlin has advanced, Putin is willing to increase the export of fertilizers and agricultural products if the sanctions are lifted.

Putin informed both leaders that Russia is open to finding options for unhindered grain export, including Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports.

According to the Kremlin, Putin has assured both European leaders that the Russian forces are dedicating themselves to “establishing peace” in the territories that Russia has taken in eastern Ukraine, especially the city of Mariupol, where “the Forces Russian navies strictly observe the norms of International Humanitarian Law.”

At the global level, the seriousness of the food situation caused by the attack on Ukraine by Russia, which is strangling its ports on the Black Sea, is worrying. The crisis may be caused by the shortage of fertilizers, of which Russia is the world’s leading exporter. This week European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused Russia of deliberately withholding its grain exports and blocking Ukrainian ships full of grain in the Black Sea. A way to blackmail the West and provoke an increase in prices in the world market, to later negotiate the support of some countries.

Little by little, Russia is making its way into Donbas. Moscow claims its forces are in full control of the Ukrainian city of Lyman, a railway hub in the Donetsk region. The city is located 40 kilometers west of Severodonetsk, the largest city in Donbas that is still in Ukrainian hands.

Russian propaganda says that it is not a war but a special operation. And it ensures that only military infrastructures are attacked. But about 90% of the buildings in Severodonetsk are damaged.

Ukrainian and Russian forces had been fighting for control of Lyman for several days. This victory may help Moscow set the stage for the next phase of the Kremlin’s offensive in eastern Ukraine.

These Russian victories indicate a change in the trend in the war. And Russian forces are likely to try to cross the Donets River in the coming days. Some Russian media assure that the idea of ​​attempting an assault on kyiv again is gaining strength in the Kremlin.

In his conversation with Macron and Scholz, the Russian leader noted the “dangerous nature” of the continued Western arms supply to Ukraine. “Equipping Ukraine with Western weapons destabilizes the situation and may exacerbate the humanitarian crisis,” Putin warned.

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