Russian and Ukrainian negotiators are scheduled to meet Wednesday in Istanbul , in the increasingly desperate effort to release huge amounts of grain from Ukraine’s ports and ship it to a world facing rising hunger. Officials have tried for months to break the impasse without triggering an escalation in the war or, worse, a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. Wednesday’s meeting raises hopes for a breakthrough, but in interviews, more than half a dozen officials directly involved or briefed on the plans cited obstacles ranging from the mundane to the downright “Mission Impossible.” Proposed alternatives, moving the grain overland or through the Danube River, have been too slow, cumbersome and small-scale to address the challenge of more than 22 million tons of grain stuck in Odesa and other Black Sea ports that are blockaded by Russian warships. “After all those talks, military delegations of the defense ministries of […]