Putin’s war fleet shells peaceful merchant ships
Since the beginning of the Ukraine war, several merchant ships have come under fire from the Russian Navy. A grenade was fired at a Bangladeshi ship, killing an engineer on board. The ship is still stuck with the remaining crew and cannot travel back.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reports of merchant ships being fired upon by Russian warships have mounted. Now, on Thursday night, the merchant ship “MV Banglar Samriddhi” was fired at with a rocket. An engineer on board was killed. The remaining 28 crew members are now pleading for help. They are stuck and afraid of being attacked again at any time.
It was not the first incident on the high seas. First, on the first day of the war, the Turkish cargo ship Yasa Jupiter was rammed off Odessa. On the second day of the war, the Russian Navy had shelled a Moldovan-flagged chemical tanker and a Panamanian-flagged grain cargo ship near Odessa. Two sailors were seriously injured.
28 men on board: “We live in great fear”
“MV Banglar Samriddhi” docked in the Ukrainian port of Olvia. It flies the Bangladeshi flag and is owned by the state-owned Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC). Originally there were 29 sailors on board. When the war started, the bulk carrier got stuck in port. “A shell hit the ship,” says Sumon Mahmud Sabbir, the managing director of BSC. “The shell detonated where the third engineer, Hadisur Rahman, was on duty, killing him. The other 28 people on the ship are unharmed. The fire has been extinguished.”
The ship left the Turkish port of Eregli on February 21 and reached the Ukrainian port on February 22. From February 27, Schiff wanted to start the return journey, but because of the war it is now stuck. Seaman Asiful Islam Asif on board reports: “We are living in great fear at every moment as the earlier rocket attack could be followed by other attacks at any time. We ask with folded hands to extricate ourselves from this situation.”