Russia Targets Grain Export Facilities In Southern Ukraine As Moscow Hit Again By Drones

Russia unleashed a fresh wave of drone attacks on grain export facilities in southern Ukraine, damaging installations and causing fires at grain silos, the military and regional officials said on August 23, as Russian air strikes and shelling killed one person and wounded several others in the southern region of Kherson.

Russian forces launched a three-hour drone attack overnight on Ukraine’s Odesa region, regional Governor Oleh Kiper said on Telegram on August 23.

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“Air defense destroyed nine Iranian-made drones. Unfortunately, production and shipment complexes were damaged and a fire broke out on an area of 700 square meters. As of 6 in the morning, the fire was contained. Grain storage facilities are among the damaged objectives,” Kiper wrote, adding there were no casualties.

Monitoring channels and local officials also reported explosions in Izmayil, one of two Ukrainian ports on the Danube that have been used by Kyiv to export grain after a UN-sponsored deal collapsed last month following Russia’s refusal to renew its participation in the agreement.

Ukraine’s air force command said the Ukrainian military shot down 11 out of 20 drones launched by Russia overnight. Nine were destroyed in the Odesa region and two in the Zaporizhzhya region, the command said.

In Kherson, one person was killed and five were wounded by Russian shelling over the past 24 hours, the head of the regional military administration, Oleksandr Prokudin, said on Telegram, adding that early on August 23 six people were wounded in an air strike on civilian facilities, including a kindergarten.

“Around 4 in the morning, the Russian military dropped two guided aerial bombs on a kindergarten and residential buildings. As a result of the shelling, a fire broke out, which was promptly extinguished by firefighters,” Prokudin wrote. A 22-year-old man was taken to a hospital, he said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry, meanwhile, said on August 23 that Moscow was attacked by three drones overnight, two of which were shot down while a third one was “suppressed” by electronic means but hit a building under construction in the capital’s Moscow City business complex after losing control.

There were no casualties, the ministry said.

Three Moscow airports — Vnukovo, Domodedovo, and Sheremetyevo — temporarily suspended flights.

The ministry blamed the attack on Ukraine. Kyiv did not comment on the incident. On August 22, the Russian Defense Ministry also said it had repelled several Ukrainian drones in the same area of the Russian capital.

Moscow has been regularly targeted by drone attacks over the past weeks.

On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces continued to advance toward the southern strategic city of Melitopol after recapturing the village of Robotyne, the General Staff reported on August 23, adding that Ukrainian defenders repelled Russian attacks in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv.

Robotyne is an important road leading to Melitopol in the Zaporizhzhya region. Melitopol, known as the “gateway to Crimea,” was captured by Russian troops in March last year after several days of heavy fighting.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy returned home from visits to four European countries, saying, “Ukraine became stronger.”

Zelenskiy issued a video message summarizing his visits to Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Greece over the past several days, saying he returned to Ukraine with “new political support, new agreements.”

His meetings in Athens with leaders of the western Balkans, who were attending a summit in the Greek capital, produced a declaration signed by 11 countries in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

With reporting by Reuters and AP


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