Russia targets Odesa port, angering Ukraine and nearby Romania

Several tonnes of grain are damaged following the drone attack on Izmail, which is part of Ukraine’s Danube infrastructure.

A general view of damaged property, following a Russian drone attack, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, at a location given as Odesa region, Ukraine in this handout image released on August 2, 2023. Odesa region Governor Oleh Kiper via Telegram/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
Russian drone attacks have increased in Odesa, damaging grain infrastructure [Odesa region Governor Oleh Kiper on Telegram/Handout via Reuters]

Ukraine’s coastal region of Odesa was rattled by Russian drones which hit grain storage facilities in the south of the region, according to authorities in Kyiv.

The grain port of Izmail, an inland port across the Danube River from NATO-member Romania, was the main target of Moscow’s drone attack.

About 40,000 tonnes of grain destined for African nations, China and Israel were damaged, officials said,

“As a result of the attack, fires broke out at the facilities of the port and industrial infrastructure of the region, and an elevator was damaged,” Odesa region Governor Oleh Kiper said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of waging an attack on “global food security”.

“Unfortunately, there are damages,” Zelenskyy said on Telegram.

“The most significant ones are in the south of the country. Russian terrorists have once again attacked ports, grain, global food security,” he added.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called Russia’s repeated attacks on Ukraine’s Danube infrastructure near Romania “unacceptable” war crimes.

Russian drones targeted Ukraine’s Danube ports last month, destroying a grain warehouse, according to authorities in Kyiv.

Nine days of attacks

Kyiv has accused Moscow of stepping up attacks on Ukrainian grain infrastructure by hitting 26 port facilities, five civilian vessels and 180,000 tonnes of grain in nine days of attacks, since quitting the Black Sea grain deal.

Moscow has said it will treat ships in the Black Sea heading to Ukrainian seaports, “as potential military targets”.

Turkey and the UN brokered the wartime grain deal between Kyiv and Moscow last year, to ensure that Ukrainian ships could safely export agricultural products to the rest of the world from Black Sea ports. Moscow backed out of the agreement last month.

The Kremlin has said recent attacks are in retaliation for a Ukrainian attack on a bridge to Crimea, but officials in Kyiv aw them as Russia signalling its intention to reimpose a blockade in the Black Sea.

The United Nations has warned that Moscow’s termination of the Black Sea grain deal could trigger a potential food crisis in some of the poorest countries in the world.

In a call with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will continue in efforts to reinstate the deal which he described as “a bridge of peace” and urged Moscow to de-escalate the war.

The Kremlin said Putin reiterated Russia’s conditions for rejoining the grain deal, which included improving the terms for its food and fertiliser exports.

Source: News Agencies