Russia attacks Ukraine ports on Danube

Published July 25, 2023
A screen grab from social media footage shows damaged grain silos in Danube river port in Odesa region after Russian drone attack, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Reni, Ukraine, released July 24. — Reuters
A screen grab from social media footage shows damaged grain silos in Danube river port in Odesa region after Russian drone attack, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Reni, Ukraine, released July 24. — Reuters

KYIV: Russia destroyed Ukrainian grain warehouses on the Danube River in a drone attack on Monday, targeting a vital export route for Kyiv in an expanding air campaign that Moscow began last week after pulling out of the Black Sea grain deal.

Last week’s attacks mostly struck the sea ports of Odesa but Monday’s pre-dawn strikes hit infrastructure along the Danube, an export route whose importance has grown since the demise of the deal allowing Ukrainian grain transit via the Black Sea.

“The Russian terrorists have again attacked the Odesa region overnight. Port infrastructure on the Danube river is the target this time,” regional governor Oleh Kiper wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Global wheat and corn futures rose sharply on fears that Russian attacks and more fighting, including an overnight drone strike on Moscow, could threaten grain exports and shipping.

News website Reni-Odesa cited a local official as saying three grain warehouses had been destroyed in the Danube port city of Reni during a drone attack.

Video footage obtained and verified by Reuters showed a man cursing in disbelief at several damaged grain warehouses at Reni, an important transport hub across the Danube to Nato and European Union member Romania.

“This recent escalation poses serious risks to the security in the Black Sea,” Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Twitter, drawing attention to the proximity of the attack to Romania’s border.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine has expanded grain exports overland via the EU to about 1 million tons a month, with large volumes being exported from Romanian ports and along the Danuber.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2023

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