Russia strikes key Ukrainian ports sharing border with NATO nations

Russia claims to have shot down S-200 Ukrainian missile

Russia fired more than 24 kamikaze drones at Ukrainian ports on the border with NATO member Romania last night, Ukrainian officials have claimed.

The attack, which lasted roughly three-and-a-half hours, is the latest Russian strike on ports on the Danube River.

The waterway has become Ukraine’s primary means of transporting grain to the global south after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea initiative brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in mid-July. They have since blockaded the grain corridor from larger ports on the Black Sea, such as Odessa, to Turkey.

Though 22 of the 25 Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones were shot down, Ukraine’s Air Force claimed, at least two people were injured in the attack.

While it remains unclear which ports were struck, grainy footage posted to Telegram suggests the ports of Reni and Izmail were hit.

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Ukraine’s South Military Command issued a statement saying “civil infrastructure of the Danube” had been struck.

A statement posted this morning, since translated, read: “The enemy once again attacked the civil infrastructure of the Danube in Odessa.

“The massive drone attack lasted more than 3.5 hours. 22 drones of the ‘Shahed-136’ type were destroyed by air defence forces.

“Unfortunately, there was a hit in the port infrastructure, as a result of which a fire broke out, which the firefighters promptly extinguished. It is known in advance about 2 injured civilians. They were given medical assistance.”

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Footage later posted to Telegram purported to show an explosion on the horizon during the nighttime attack. Explosions can be heard in the background.

“Russian terrorists continue to attack port infrastructure in the hope of provoking a food crisis and famine in the world,” the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak wrote on Telegram.

He posted a photo of a firefighter directing water at the burning ruins of concrete structures.

Reni and Izmail, Ukraine’s two largest ports on the Danube River, have been repeatedly attacked by Russian drones in recent weeks.

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