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Russian ship with Ukraine grain reaches Syria

Satellite photos analysed by The Associated Press show a Russian ship believed to be carrying stolen Ukrainian grain has docked in Syria.

The photo taken Tuesday by Planet Labs PBC showed the Russian-flagged Matros Pozynich at dockside in Latakia, Syria.

The ship seen in the photo matched known characteristics of the bulk carrier, as well as its dimensions.

The ship turned off its transponders nearly a week ago off the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea.

Samir Madani, the co-founder of the online research, also told the AP that he believed the ship docked in Latakia was the Matros Pozynich based on its dimensions and last-known position.

Ukraine has said the ship had 27,000 tons of grain Russia stole from the country.

It alleged Russia initially tried to ship the grains to Egypt, which refused to take the cargo.

Ukrainian diplomats had been asking nations not to accept the grain.

The ship's registered owners, Crane Marine Contractor LLC of Astrakhan, Russia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Russian bombing campaign and support from Iran beat back insurgents who nearly toppled President Bashar Assad after the 2011 Arab Spring.

Russia maintains a navy and air base in Syria to this day, though it has reportedly rotated forces out of the country to aid its war on Ukraine.

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