Russian drone attack on Ukrainian port near Romanian border

Russian drone attack on Ukrainian port

Russian drone attack on Ukrainian port near Romanian border

Russia carried out a drone attack on a port facility on the Danube River in Izmail, Ukraine. The facility is a short distance from the border with Romania, a member of NATO, the Western defense alliance.

A grain warehouse, a building, and an elevator used for grain handling were damaged in the attack.

Russia began attacking Ukrainian ports after Moscow pulled out of a UN-brokered settlement agreement between Ukraine and Russia.

Under this agreement, the two countries could safely export food grains through the Black Sea.

The attack caused a major fire in the port area of Izmail in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Video taken from the Danube River (which is about three kilometers away) that runs through Romania gives an idea of the intensity of the fire.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis condemned the Russian attack, saying such an attack on Ukrainian infrastructure “close to Romania” was unacceptable.

Ukraine’s air force said the Russian drones were heading toward the Danube River, where the Ukrainian ports of Izmail and Reni are located, during the night.

Ukraine’s southern military command said its air defenses were active for about three hours to destroy the drones.

Oleh Kiper, Odesa’s regional leader, said emergency services were working at the latest Russian attack, and no casualties were reported.

“Unfortunately there was some damage,” said President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukraine’s regional leader posted several photos of the damage on social media, showing that several targets were hit.

Ukraine’s defense ministry said an elevator at the port had been hit.

Ukrainian officials say that in addition to the elevators, a cargo terminal, and a warehouse were damaged in the attack. They said government lawyers in Izmail had launched an investigation to assess the damage caused by the attack.

Also last week, a Russian-launched drone hit a grain warehouse in the port of Reni. This port is also further up the Danube River and near Romanian territory.

Romanian President Lucas Iohannis said on Wednesday that the attack on Romania so close was a war crime. The attack “is disruppting grain shipments to areas of the world where people need food.”

Earlier, Russia also attacked the major Black Sea ports of Odesa and Chernomorsk. Authorities say 60,000 tons of food grains have been destroyed in these attacks.

When Russia pulled out of the grain deal last July, it threatened to attack any shipping heading toward Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, which amounted to a de facto naval blockade.

From then on, the Danube River was used as an alternative route for grain transport.

Ukraine is one of the leading exporters of wheat and corn worldwide. Most of its shipments are sent from the country’s ports on the Black Sea. The Danube plays an important role in Ukrainian grain exports when the Black Sea is closed to shipping.

After Russia’s exit from the Grains Agreement, the price of wheat in the world market immediately increased.

This situation has raised concerns about food security around the world, especially in some countries in Africa and Asia.

In addition to attacks on Ukrainian ports, Russia also carried out more than ten drone strikes in the capital Kyiv last night, according to local officials.

These drones were destroyed with the help of an air defense system. However, officials say some non-residential buildings have also been damaged by the debris from these drones.

Russia has not officially commented on these attacks.

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