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Ukraine's Danube Port damaged in Russian drone strike

by Martin Fornusek August 2, 2023 2:38 PM 3 min read
The aftermath of Russian strikes against the port of Izmail in Odesa Oblast
The aftermath of Russian strikes against the port of Izmail in Odesa Oblast on Aug. 2, 2023. (Source: Governor Oleh Kiper/Telegram)
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The Russian night strike against Odesa Oblast targeted Ukraine's Danube River port of Izmail, causing substantial damage to grain warehouses and other infrastructure, the Prosecutor General's Office and the Defense Ministry reported on Aug. 2.

"Another elevator in the port of Izmail, Odesa (Oblast), was damaged by Russians. Ukrainian grain has the potential to feed millions of people worldwide," the Defense Ministry wrote on Twitter.

The Prosecutor General's Office reported that apart from the grain elevator, the drone strike damaged or destroyed grain warehouses, administrative buildings, a container in one of the loading terminals, and other buildings.

The released footage shows emergency services liquidating fires, as well as extensive damage done to the buildings. According to Reuters, an industry source confirmed that the level of damage in Izmail is "serious."

Ukrainian officials reported on drone strikes against Odesa Oblast earlier on Aug. 2. According to Governor Oleh Kiper, some of the drones were shot down but others managed to hit port and industrial infrastructure, starting a fire and damaging a grain elevator.

So far, no casualties have been reported, Kiper said.

Izmail, lying across the Danube River from Romania, became an important conduit for Ukrainian grain exports following Russia's unilateral termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 17.

Commenting on the strikes, head of the Presidential Office Andrii Yermak called for tougher international sanctions against Russia so that it cannot produce arms with which it attacks Ukraine.

"They (Russia) want to increase the quantity (of these arms) to kill people, destroy infrastructure, and start famine in the countries of the Global South," Yermak wrote on his Telegram channel.

Russia has intensified its strikes against Ukraine's agricultural infrastructure, ports, and grain stockpiles following its withdrawal from the grain deal.

The attacks have further exacerbated fears about food security worldwide as Ukraine is one of the world's leading producers of grain and other agricultural products. Bloomberg reported that wheat prices jumped up after the attack against Izmail.

Russia has previously targeted Izmail and another Danube port Reni on July 24.

Timothy Ash: Solutions need to be found for grain exports
On July 17, 2023, Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The initiative was originally brokered in August 2022 by Turkey between Russia and Ukraine. It had been successful in facilitating the export of 32.5 million tonnes of grain out of Ukrainian ports, leaving in over 1,

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