KYIV, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Russian drone strikes damaged grain silos and warehouses at the Ukrainian river port of Reni on the Danube, a vital wartime route for Ukrainian food exports, senior officials said on Wednesday.
Russian strikes on port infrastructure on the Danube in recent weeks have piled pressure on Ukrainian food exports after Moscow quit a year-old deal that had allowed Kyiv to ship out grain via the Black Sea.
“Russian terrorists attacked Odesa region twice last night with attack drones,” regional governor Oleh Kiper said on Telegram. “The main target is port and grain infrastructure in the south of the region.”
Photos released by the governor showed the destroyed metal walls of storage facilities and piles of scattered grain and sunflowers.
The strike targeted the port of Reni, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Telegram. There were no casualties, he said.
An industry source told Reuters the port continued to operate after the attack.
Ukraine’s Air Force said it had destroyed 13 Russian-launched drones over the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions in the south. It was not immediately clear how many drones Russia launched.
Ukraine’s Danube ports accounted for around a quarter of grain exports before Russia pulled out of a U.N.-backed deal to provide safe passage for the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea in July
The ports have since become the main route out, with grain also sent on barges to Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta for shipment onwards.
Earlier this month, Russia attacked Izmail – Ukraine’s main inland port across the Danube River from Romania, sending global food prices higher as it ramped up its use of force to prevent Ukraine from exporting grain.
The drone attacks destroyed buildings in the port and halted ships as they prepared to arrive there to load with Ukrainian grain in defiance of a de facto blockade Russia reimposed in mid-July.
Source : Reuters