“The aim is for port facilities on the Danube this time,” Odessa region governor Ole Kepper said via Telegram. The Romanian news agency Medifax reported that the Ukrainian inland ports of Izmail and Rene were bombed. Sources said that Romanian sailors saw and heard the explosions. Six Roman ships, which were in the port of Reni, could have escaped unharmed on the Roman banks of the Danube.
After Russia withdrew last week from an agreement to secure Ukraine’s grain exports through the Black Sea, the route through the Danube River and neighboring Romania remains one of the main routes for Ukrainian grain exports. Russian drone strikes on Ukrainian inland ports such as Izmail and Rene are intended to disrupt this route that Ukraine is so violently targeting.
Kyiv talks about “food terrorism”
And the drone attacks on previously largely unmolested Ukrainian ports on the Danube mean a further escalation in Russia’s attempt to halt Ukrainian grain exports. The mayor of Rene, Ihor Plehov, spoke to Ukrainian media about three destroyed grain silos in his city. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of “food terrorism” and called for a global response to the attacks.
Since the Russian blockade, Ukraine has become more dependent on the small ports on the Danube. Currently, about 2 million tons of agricultural products are exported through Reni and Izmail every month, according to the head of the Ukrainian Grain Association, Mykola Horbachev. Other exports by rail or road. Despite the attacks, Horbachev hoped to increase transfers. Reni is an important center of Romania.
At least 30 ships off Ishmael
Meanwhile, nearly 30 ships docked near Port Ismail as a result of the destruction of grain stores, according to Reuters news agency, citing data from analysis firm Marine Traffic. According to the data, three more ships were moored along the waterway to Rennie Station. Ukraine has not yet provided any information on this matter.
In the aftermath of the attacks on the Danube ports, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres implored Russia to return to the Black Sea Grains Agreement. In addition, he warned in Rome of the devastating effects on “weak countries that struggle to feed their people”.
Bucharest sees ‘severe security risks’
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis strongly condemned the Russian drone attacks on ports near the border. “This latest escalation poses serious security risks in the Black Sea,” he wrote on Twitter. The attack was directed against the civilian infrastructure very close to Roman territory. It affects the future transportation of Ukrainian grain and, accordingly, global food security.
Kyiv reports on night air strikes
According to the authorities, Kiev was once again the target of airstrikes on Tuesday night. The head of the military department, Serhiy Popko, said in a Telegram on Tuesday that Russia “attacked Kiev with combat drones.” According to him, this is the sixth drone attack on Kiev this month. The air raid alert lasted three hours and all missiles were detected and destroyed. Popko said that according to the current situation, there are no casualties or damages. He did not provide information on the number of drones or where they might be launched.
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