President Vladimir Putin stated that Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and the decision to suspend participation in a Black Sea grain export program were responses to an attack by a drone on Moscow's fleet in Crimea, which he blamed on Ukraine.
Putin stated on Monday at a news conference that Ukrainian drones had used the same marine corridors as grain ships under the U.N.-brokered agreement.
Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack and has denied using the security corridor of the grain program for military purposes. On Saturday, when Russia claimed that its vessels in Crimea were attacked, the United Nations stated that no grain ships used the Black Sea route.
Meanwhile, on the 250th day of a war that has dragged on since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24, Russian missiles rained down across the country. Kyiv was rocked by explosions that sent black smoke into the air.
At least six Ukrainian regions were shelled by Russian forces on Monday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a Facebook post.
Putin indicated at the televised news conference that further action could be taken by stating, "We could have done more."
Officials in Ukraine reported that energy infrastructure, including hydroelectric dams, was damaged, resulting in power, heat, and water outages.
Oleh Synehubov, the governor of the northeastern Kharkiv region, stated on Telegram that approximately 140,000 residents were without electricity as a result of the attacks, including approximately 50,000 residents of Kharkiv city, the second largest city in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military claimed to have intercepted 44 of 50 Russian missiles. Authorities reported that strikes left 80 percent of Kyiv without running water. According to Ukrainian police, thirteen people were injured in the recent attacks.
In the past three weeks, Russia has attacked Ukrainian civil infrastructure with costly long-range missiles and inexpensive "suicide drones" manufactured by Iran that fly at their target and explode.
Monday, according to Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, missile and drone strikes hit 18 targets, primarily energy infrastructure, in 10 Ukrainian regions.
Wheat Prices Jump
Moscow suspended its role in the grain program on Saturday after Ukraine was accused of using air and maritime drones to target vessels in the Bay of Sevastopol. It was suggested that one of the drones was launched from a civilian ship chartered to export food from Ukrainian ports.
"Ukraine must guarantee that there will be no threats to civilian vessels or Russian supply vessels," Putin said on Monday, noting that Russia is responsible for ensuring security under the terms of the grain deal.
Ukrainian and U.N. Twelve grain-carrying ships reportedly left Ukrainian ports on Monday despite Moscow's move. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine stated that his nation would continue implementing the global hunger alleviation program brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July.
Zelensky stated at a press conference, "We understand what we offer the world: stability on the market for food production." Previously, he asserted that Moscow was "blackmailing the world with hunger." Russia refutes this as its objective.
The U.S. State Department stated on Monday that food prices increased due to uncertainty surrounding the Black Sea grain deal and that Russia's suspension of participation had "immediate, detrimental" effects on global food security.
The news that Moscow was withdrawing from the agreement caused global wheat prices to increase by more than 5 percent on Monday morning.
However, the continued export of grain from Ukrainian ports suggested that a new global food crisis had been averted for the time being.
Ukraine and Russia are two of the world's leading food exporters. Three months ago, a de facto blockade imposed by Russia against Ukrainian exports has been lifted thanks to an agreement backed by the United Nations.
One of the ships that sailed on Monday was a United Nations-chartered vessel. The World Food Programme will deliver 40,000 metric tons of grain to drought-stricken Africa.
Also on Monday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the partial military mobilization Putin announced in September had been completed and that no further call-up notices would be issued.
Putin announced Russia's first mobilization since World War II on September 21, as part of a series of escalators measures taken in response to Ukrainian battlefield gains.
Minister of Defense Shoigu stated at the time that an additional 300,000 personnel would be drafted. However, the mobilization has been disorderly, and tens of thousands have fled Russia to avoid being drafted.