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Ukraine Says Russia Hit Port Infrastructure in Odesa Attack

Damage to granaries, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, is seen in a location given as Odesa region, Ukraine, in this social media image released Aug. 23, 2023. (Odesa authorities/via Reuters)

Ukrainian officials said Wednesday that Russia carried out an overnight aerial attack that damaged infrastructure and destroyed thousands of tons of grain at the port of Ismail in the Odesa region.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on social media the grain was intended for Egypt and Romania.

Kubrakov said the attack damaged several grain terminals and warehouses, and that it reduced the port’s export capacity by 15%.

He said the world needs to understand that Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports amount to attacks against African and Asian countries that are in need of food. Kubrakov said not allowing further destruction to ports is a task for the world.

Ukraine’s military said Russia launched 20 drones at Ukraine overnight, and that Ukrainian air defenses were able to down nine of the drones over Odesa and two others in the Zaporizhzhia area.

Russian authorities said Wednesday a Ukrainian drone strike killed three people in the Belgorod region, located along the border between the two countries.

Russia also said a Ukrainian drone hit a building in central Moscow after being downed by Russian air defenses.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said the building was under construction and that there were no reported casualties.

Workers clean a part of a damaged skyscraper in the 'Moscow City' business district after a reported drone attack in Moscow, Aug. 23, 2023.
Workers clean a part of a damaged skyscraper in the 'Moscow City' business district after a reported drone attack in Moscow, Aug. 23, 2023.

Russia's defense ministry said it brought down the drone with electronic jamming, and that air defenses also shot down two other drones in the Mozhaisk and Khimki parts of the Moscow region.

Moscow airports saw their operations briefly disrupted due to the Ukrainian attack, the latest in a string of drone assaults targeting the Russian capital.

Ukrainian authorities said late Tuesday that Russian artillery killed three people near the city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine.

Two villages near Lyman were hit, leaving two women and a man, ages 63 to 88, dead. The three were sitting together on a bench when the shelling hit.

Separately four people were injured in an attack using two explosive drones in a village in northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border, military officials said.

Two Ukrainian news outlets reported Tuesday that Ukrainian saboteurs were responsible for attacks on Saturday and Monday that destroyed two Russian bombers and damaged two other aircraft at two airbases deep inside Russia.

The attacks took place on Saturday at the Soltsy air base in northwestern Russia, 700 kilometers north of the Ukrainian border, and on Monday at the Shaikovka air base about 300 kilometers northeast of the Ukrainian border. The Associated Press could not independently verify the claims on the ground.

However, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that the attack on Soltsy damaged one aircraft, the AP reported. It didn't comment on the reported attack on Shaikovka, but Russian media did.

Satellite images from Planet Labs analyzed by the AP showed what appeared to be 10 Tupolev Tu-22M long-range bombers parked at the Soltsy air base on August 16. By Monday, two days after the attack, all of the bombers had left the air base. A large black spot was visible where one of the Tupolevs had been parked.

Photos purporting to be from the Soltsy air base and published by Russian and Ukrainian media showed a Russian Tu-22M bomber ablaze there after the attack.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.