Russian drones strike Danube grain export port
The river is now Ukraine’s vital export channel since Russia pulled out of its Black Sea grain export deal in July
Russian drones attacked the Danube river port of Izmail, damaging buildings and grain elevators
RUSSIAN drones have attacked Ukraine’s most important working grain export port on the Danube river.
Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Wednesday that elevators and a grain silo were damaged at Izmail, in the Odesa region, near the border with Romania.
“Ukrainian grain has the potential to feed millions of people worldwide,” the ministry tweeted.
Videos posted online showed wrecked buildings and grain silos with firefighters battling a blaze several stories high.
The Danube is the largest river in the European Union and is now Ukraine’s vital export route after its Black Sea grain deal with Russia collapsed in July.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Telegram channel said: “Russian terrorists again hit ports, grain, global food security.”
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called the attacks “war crimes” that hurt Ukraine’s ability to ship food products to the world’s most needy.
Russia has increased attacks on Danube ports since it pulled out of a deal that allowed Ukraine to export grain through a safe corridor on the Black Sea last month. Ukraine has accused Russia of attempting to cripple grain exports.
Previous drone attacks targeting Danube infrastructure on July 24 temporarily closed the port of Reni, but only for a few hours.
Since then traffic has continued to flow despite heavy congestion due to the volume of shipments now reliant on the route.
The fleet of ships waiting to enter the Danube has been growing slowly for the past few weeks and the queue topped 115 vessels on July 28, however this is not significantly above the congestion seen for much of the past month.
Lloyd’s List Intelligence vessel-tracking data showed 109 ships waiting on the eastern inlet of the Danube on Wednesday morning.
Reuters reported that the strike sent global wheat and corn prices higher on Wednesday amid fears of an interruption to global supplies, before paring back.