According to media reports, in the Turkish Black Sea port of Karasu near Istanbul, at the request of the Ukrainian authorities, the “Zhibek Zholy” vessel under the Russian flag, IMO number 9598880, was detained.
It is reported that the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine sent a letter to the Turkish Ministry of Justice stating that this vessel was involved in the illegal export of grain from Ukraine from Berdyansk. The ministry asks Turkey to inspect the vessel and take grain samples for a forensic medical examination, as well as to demand clarification about the location of the grain.
Such information about the entry of this vessel into the roadstead of the port of Karasu was disseminated by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey Vasily Bodnar, as well as Ukrainian journalists who track merchant ships entering the occupied ports of Ukraine.
The aggressor paid great propaganda importance to the “Zhibek Zholy” case, owned by the Kazakhstan company “KTZ Express Shipping Too”. In particular, the Melitopol collaborator Yevgen Balitsky announced the criminal departure of the vessel from Russian-occupied Berdyansk at the end of June, indicating that it was sent “to friendly countries” with 7,000 tons of grain.
Basically, the occupiers criminally transfer the looted grain through Russian ports and sometimes through captured Ukrainian ports in the Crimea; to this end, in recent months, grain has been transferred from Melitopol and Berdyansk to the Crimea or through the Crimea to Russia by auto-trucks.
The invaders apparently planned to use the situation with the demonstrative movement of “Zhibek Zholy” from Berdyansk to Turkey as a criminal “argument” in the negotiations on the export of grain from Ukrainian ports, which were announced in Istanbul in early July.
Now it turned out that this “argument” can be used in a completely different way than the aggressor expected, and therefore Russian propaganda began a large-scale hysteria about the detention of “Zhibek Zholy”. At the same time, the corresponding statements of Melitopol collaborators like Volodymyr Rogov become only additional evidence of the criminality of the occupiers’ actions.
At the same time, the aforementioned Kazakhstan company “KTZ Express Shipping Too” is a subsidiary of the state Kazakh railway “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy”, and the latter made an official statement about its compliance with the sanctions restrictions.
According to the Kazakhstan railway, the grain from Berdyansk was allegedly exported under a “contract” between the Russian company “Green-Line” LLC from St. Petersburg and the Estonian company “Mangelbert OU” from Tartu, which is a grain trader and allegedly entered into an agreement with Turkish buyers actually stolen grain.
At the same time, later, after the publicity of the situation, the Kazakh railway demanded an explanation from the subsidiary company “KTZ Express Shipping Too”, which gave the ship in 2021 on a bareboat charter to the aforementioned “Green-Line” LLC and stated that it was in communication with the authorized bodies of Turkey and Ukraine.
It is noteworthy that the officially published information from “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy” fully confirms the theses of the Ukrainian authorities about the physical origin and the actual route of movement of the grain, stolen by the Russian occupiers.