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Russian-Ukraine War Updates: Russian Drones Threaten Danube Port

Russian-Ukraine War

Chernihiv Ukraine 2022: A man rides a bicycle near a destroyed building and cars after an air strike. Ruins during Russia's war against Ukraine Image Credit/AdobeStockImages

Posted: August 21, 2023 at 10:19 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Ukraine has accused Russia of launching drone strikes against grain warehouses in a port on the Danube in the Odesa region. 

“Russian terrorists carried out two drone strikes in the Odessa region last night,” Odessa regional governor Oleg Kiper announced on social media on Wednesday. “As a result of enemy attacks on one of the ports on the Danube, grain warehouses were damaged,” he added.

However, Oleg Kiper did not specify which port was attacked. Ukraine has two international ports on the Danube River – Reni and Izmail, and both have already been targeted.

The attack came on the day that a container ship left the port of Odesa, under a new temporary corridor for merchant ships.


Last week, Ukraine announced a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea to free cargo ships stuck in its ports, the first attempt since Russia launched the invasion on February 24, 2022. It was hashtagged the #BlackSeaGrainInitiative.

The effort is a considerable test of Ukraine’s ability to reopen sea lanes at a time when Russia is trying to reimpose its de facto blockade. 

Humanitarian/transport corridors are created in conflict zones to evacuate civilians or provide food and medical aid to besieged cities. Essentially, they are agreements between parties to armed conflict to allow safe passage for a limited time in a specific geographical area.

Moscow has not confirmed whether it will respect the transport corridor.

“A first ship used the temporary corridor for merchant ships to and from the ports of Odesa,” Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Facebook.

Ukraine Infrastructure Ministry

Oleksandr Kubrakov further clarified that the “humanitarian corridor will be used mainly to evacuate ships that were in Ukrainian ports (Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi) at the time of the large-scale invasion of the Russian Federation”.

The official identified the container ship as the Joseph Schulte, flying the Hong Kong flag, and revealed that the vessel had been in the port of Odesa since February 23, 2022, the day before the invasion. The ship carries more than 30,000 tons of cargo in 2,114 containers.

Ukrainian ports on the Danube River accounted for about a quarter of Ukraine’s total grain exports before Russia recently pulled out of a deal that allowed safe passage for Ukraine’s grain exports through the country’s Black Sea ports.

The Danube ports are now the main export route, with grain shipments shipped on barges from Ukraine up the Danube to Romania and the port of Constance on the Black Sea for onward shipment.

A Russian attack on Port Ismail in early August sent global food prices soaring. According to an Al Jazeera correspondent, the Russian drone attack on the Ukrainian port of Izmail earlier this month was so severe that it broke windows in Romanian villages across the Danube.

On the other end, Russia revealed that it shot down three Ukrainian “unmanned aircraft” in the Kaluga region, southwest of Moscow, at a time when Ukrainian attacks of this type against the Russian capital are increasing.

At around 5:00 a.m. local time (2:00 a.m. GMT), an attempted attack from Kyiv using “three unmanned aerial vehicles (…) in the Kaluga region was thwarted”, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“All drones were detected and destroyed in time by Russian air defense systems,” the ministry stressed, adding that there were no casualties or damage due to the attack.

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