20 May 2024

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Russian drones strike grain storage facilities & ports in Odesa area of Ukraine

According to regional governor Oleh Kiper’s message on the messaging app Telegram, Russian drones attacked grain storage and port facilities in the southern area of Odesa, Ukraine, early on Wednesday.

The incident resulted in some of the facilities catching fire, Reuters reported.

Oleh Kiper, the regional governor, stated that no reports of injuries as a result of the strikes had been made. However, Russia has accelerated its assaults on Ukrainian agricultural and port infrastructure, notably after rejecting the renewal of the Black Sea grain pact, which had previously allowed the export of Ukrainian grain.

The drones entered the area from the Black Sea and then moved west along the Danube River towards Izmail, according to Reuters, citing reports from Ukrainian media. Izmail is a key port of grain storage involved for transporting Ukrainian grain via barges to the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta, following where it is further shipped to other destinations.

Multiple foreign cargo ships docked at the Izmail port via the Black Sea on Sunday, according to Ukrainian media, for the first time since the grain deal’s expiration.

Odesa Grain Storage Destroyed 

Late in July, a different Russian attack took place that was primarily directed at the Izmail port terminal in the Danube delta. A grain storage was destroyed in the course of this attack.

grain storage
Firefighters work at a damaged property, following a Russian drone attack, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, at Izmail, Odesa region, Ukraine, August 2, 2023, in this screen grab obtained from a handout video. Ukraine’s Operational Command ‘South’ /Handout via REUTERS

On July 17, Moscow pulled out of a pact that was mediated by the UN. On a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that the Black Sea provides for the sale of Ukrainian grain had “ceased to be valid today.” Only a few hours prior, Ukraine was allegedly accused of striking the Crimean Bridge. However, officials emphasized that the bridge attack, which left two people dead and their daughter injured, had nothing to do with their choice.

The grain storage pact is a “lifeline for the 79 countries and 349 million people on the frontlines of food insecurity,” the International Rescue Committee was cited in an AP article. Many nations are now heavily reliant on food imports as a result of the devastation caused by climate change on different continents (and the destruction of crops).

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