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Ukraine Crisis

Storm surge – search continues for tornado survivors

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The search is continuing today for survivors, after at least 30 tornadoes ripped through six US states

At least 94 people are dead, with the state of Kentucky being hit the worst, as US President Joe Biden declares a disaster for the region.

At least 80 of the deceased so far are Kentucky residents… after dozens were killed in a candle factory in Mayfield.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says the situation is devastating… saying one of his state’s biggest challenges is that they’re losing so many people… and most of the morgues aren’t big enough to deal with it.

Emergency response teams are still surveying the damage, knocking on doors and reaching out to residents to try to make contact to see who’s alive.

This comes as more than 50,000 residents across Kentucky remain without power following the storm surge.

In Illinois, a tornado warning siren gave Amazon factory workers just eleven minutes to find shelter, with six people killed as the storm ripped through the warehouse.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency says weather events like this are the “new normal” as it prepares to bolster resilience as a result.

“This is what dangerous climate change is…This is a really stark warning to the world.”

scott hamilton, energy expert & ticker climate co-host
Scott Hamilton, energy expert

Ukraine Crisis

The Ukrainian boss suing Russia for $20 billion

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Ukraine’s richest man is planning to sue Russia for nearly 20 billion dollars for losses caused by the bombardment of steel plants in Mariupol.

The Illich Steel and Iron Works, also owned by Akhmetov, was also badly damaged during Russian shelling of Mariupol.

The Azovstal steelworks suffered heavy damage from Russian bombing and shelling after the sprawling plant became the last bastion of defence in the southern port city.

Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov îs suing Russia

Now billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, who owns the biggest Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest, is planning to sue the Kremlin.

“We will definitely sue Russia and demand proper compensation for all losses and lost business,” Rinat Akhmetov, who owns the biggest Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest, told Ukrainian news portal mrpl.city.

“The replacement cost … due to Russian aggression is from $17 to $20 billion. The final amount will be determined in a lawsuit against Russia.”

Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov

The final amount will be decided in the lawsuit.

The billionaire has already suffered years of losses due to Russia’s fighting in Ukraine’s east.

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Ukraine Crisis

Hunger fears mount over Ukraine grain blockade

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Ukraine’s grain mills are struggling to get back into full swing after suffering war damage, and that spells trouble for domestic consumers, and the global market.

Russian forces may have pulled back from Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, but the damage left behind is still there to see.

The local Mlibor granary reopened in April after Moscow withdrew from the area.

While it meets the country’s demand for corn, production is limited after Russian forces damaged the site through shelling.

Granary CEO Serhii Yarosh says the flour mill is completely out of order.

“The buildings are damaged, the workshops are damaged and the mill. Now we should be milling the flour which our country needs very much.”

Russia’s invasion – which it calls a ‘special military operation’ – has also led to a blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

That’s bad news for global food supplies as Ukraine is one of the world’s top producers of grain.

Pierre Vauthier is from the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation.

“Odesa has to be reopened and we need to have an agreement to have it reopened. This diplomatic solution has to be discussed. There are people who can solve the situation and we need to have an agreement. As our secretary general has reminded us.”

Vauthier warned even if a diplomatic solution is reached on reopening the ports, it would still take several months to establish safe export routes.

The Kremlin has rejected claims that Russia has blocked grain exports from Ukraine, saying western sanctions are to blame.

On Thursday (May 26), a senior Turkish official said Ankara was in negotiations with Moscow and Kyiv to open a corridor via Turkey for grain exports from Ukraine.

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Ukraine Crisis

Ukrainian Foreign Minister accuses Moscow of blackmail

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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that Moscow is ready to end the blockade of Black Sea ports in Ukraine if the West relaxes its sanctions against Russia

The Foreign Minister has described Moscow’s latest offer as blackmail towards the international community.

This comes as the United Nations warns the block could intensify the global food crisis.

As 20 million tonnes of grain continue to be trapped in Ukrainian silos, international leaders fear that the naval blockade could lead to world grain shortages and further political instability.

Ukraine is one of the largest food suppliers in the world and is critical for the food distribution network.

Russia’s strong hold on the Black Sea ports has halted Ukrainian food export since the beginning of the war in February.

Samantha Hogan contributed to this article.

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