Russia has destroyed Ukrainian grain warehouses on the Danube River and injured seven people in a drone strike this week, expanding the target area of an air campaign launched last week after it pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal, the Kiev government said.
Last week’s attacks mainly targeted Odesa’s seaports, but Monday’s pre-dawn attacks hit infrastructure along the Danube River, an alternative export route that is vital for Kiev following the end of a year-long deal allowing safe exports of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.
”Russian terrorists again attacked the Odesa region during the night. The port infrastructure on the Danube River is the target this time around,” wrote regional governor Oleh Kiper on the Telegram messaging app.
Global wheat and corn futures rose sharply on concerns that attacks from Russia and more fighting, including a drone attack on Moscow, could threaten grain exports and transport.
The Reni-Odesa news website quoted a local official as saying three grain warehouses were destroyed in the Danube port town of Reni in an attack involving around 15 drones.
Since the full-scale invasion of Russia in February last year, Ukraine has expanded overland grain exports from the European Union to around a million tons a month, with large volumes being exported from Romanian ports and along the Danube.
“In recent months, Russia has not attacked Ukraine’s land and river grain infrastructure,” says a European trader. “Any interruption of this traffic could quickly affect the international supply of grains”, he stressed.
Another European grain trader said: “It is clearly an attack on Ukraine’s additional grain export infrastructure. The big concern is whether this is an attempt to completely stop overland exports.”
Ukrainian officials did not say exactly what was hit or where, but police said warehouses holding grain crops were damaged along with tanks to hit other types of cargo, causing a fire.