Russia launched an overnight air attack on one of Ukraine’s major grain exporting ports, damaging warehouses and setting buildings on fire, Ukraine said, hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan.
A prolonged drone assault on the Danube River port of Izmail, in Ukraine’s Odesa region, hit warehouses and production buildings, and drone debris set several civilian infrastructure buildings on fire, the governor of the Odesa region said.
Putin and Erdogan met Monday in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, as Ankara and the United Nations seek to revive a Ukraine grain export deal that helped ease a global food crisis. Ankara called the talks vital for the deal.
Russia quit the deal in July — a year after it was brokered by the UN and Turkey — complaining that its own food and fertilizer exports faced obstacles and that not enough Ukrainian grain was going to countries in need.
After quitting the Black Sea grain deal, Moscow has launched frequent attacks on the ports of the Danube River, which has since become Ukraine’s major route for exporting grain.
About 17 drones were shot down, but some hit their targets in the broader Izmail area, Gov. Oleh Kiper said on the Telegram messaging app. He added that according to preliminary reports, there were no casualties or injuries.
Monday’s attack followed Russia’s strikes on Sunday on the other major Danube port of Reni, in which the port’s infrastructure was damaged and at least two people were injured.