Russian Drone Strikes on the Odesa Region Cause Fires at Port

Telegram Channel of Odesa Region Governor Oleh Kiper via AP
In this photo provided by regional Governor Oleh Kiper rescuers work on a scene of drone attack in Odesa region, Ukraine, early Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops hit port infrastructure in Ukraine’s Odesa region with Shahed drones overnight, the Ukrainian military reported, damaging a grain elevator and causing a fire at facilities that transport the country’s crucial grain exports.

Since leaving a deal that allowed Ukraine to export grain to world markets through the city of Odesa, Russia has hammered the country’s ports with strikes. Since July 17, Russian forces have fired dozens of drones and missiles at the port of Odesa and the region’s river ports, which are being used as alternative routes.

“The goal of the enemy was clearly the facilities of the ports and industrial infrastructure of the region,” Ukraine’s South operational command wrote in an update on Facebook. As a result of the attack, a fire broke out at industrial and port facilities, and a grain elevator was damaged.

Ukraine’s air force intercepted 23 Shahed drones over the country overnight, mostly in Odesa and Kyiv, according to a morning update.

All 10 drones fired at Kyiv were intercepted, said Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv City Administration. Numerous loud explosions were heard overnight as air defense systems were activated. Debris from felled drones hit three districts of the capital, damaging a nonresidential building, Popko said.

“Russian terrorists have once again targeted ports, grain facilities and global food security,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted Wednesday morning on Telegram. “The world must respond.”

He confirmed that some drones hit their targets, with the most “significant damage” in the south of Ukraine.

Two civilians were wounded in shelling of the city of Kherson during the night, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said Wednesday. In the eastern region of Donetsk, four people were wounded in Russian shelling over the past day, according to Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko.

The area around the city of Nikopol, across the river from the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, was shelled three times, Gov. Serhiy Lysak said.