Russian drone attack in Odesa region hits Danube port infrastructure

(Reuters) -Russia launched a 3 1/2-hour drone attack on southern parts of the Odesa region on Sunday, hitting Danube River port infrastructure and injuring at least two people, Ukrainian officials said.

Ukraine’s air defence systems shot down 22 of the 25 Iranian-made Shahed drones that Russia launched on the Odesa region in the early hours, the Air Force said on the Telegram messaging app.

The Danube has become Ukraine’s main route for exporting grain since the collapse of a U.N.-brokered deal in July that had allowed Kyiv to ship its grain via the Black Sea.

“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.

Ukraine’s South Military Command said on social media at least two civilians were injured in the attack on what it said was the “civil infrastructure of the Danube”.

Officials did not give details of which port facility was hit. The military said a fire that resulted from the attack at the facility was quickly extinguished.

Some Ukrainian media reported blasts in the Reni port, one of the two major ports on the Danube that Ukraine operates.

There was no immediate comment from Russia.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

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

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne, Pavel Polityuk in KyivEditing by Edwina Gibbs, William Mallard and Frances Kerry)

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