At least four people were killed in a fresh wave of Russian attacks on northeastern and southern Ukrainian regions on August 23 that also damaged grain export facilities, Ukrainian authorities said, as a Russian regional governor accused Kyiv of launching an attack that killed three people shortly after Moscow was reportedly targeted again by drones.
In Romny, a town in the northeastern Sumy region bordering Russia, the number of victims of a Russian missile attack doubled after the bodies of two more teachers were dug out from under the rubble of a school destroyed by the blast.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the school was completely destroyed and at least two more people were still under the rubble.
In southern Ukraine, a three-hour Russian drone attack on the Odesa region damaged installations and caused fires at grain silos, military and regional officials said on August 23.
“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,” regional Governor Oleh Kiper said on Telegram on August 23, adding that 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.
Romanian media reported that the explosions could be heard in Tulcea, a Romanian port on the Danube just 15 kilometers from Izmayil.
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.
In Russia, the governor of the Belgorod region that borders Ukraine said a drone attack on a sanatorium in the village of Lavy killed three civilians.
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine dropped an explosive device from a drone when people were on the street,” Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram. He said two men were killed on the spot while a third died later in a hospital.
Hours earlier, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Moscow had been 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 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 on August 23 responded to suggestions that the Ukrainian counteroffensive was moving too slowly by saying that dense mining is complicating operations, though Ukrainian troops continue to advance.
“The military reports to me that we are constantly moving forward. Yes, little by little, but the direction is correct,” Zelenskiy said during a briefing in Kyiv with Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, defended Russia’s aggression in an address via video link to a BRICS summit in South Africa on August 31.
Putin reiterated the Kremlin’s false narrative that Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine was a response to alleged aggression by Kyiv and the West against Moscow’s proxies in eastern Ukraine.
“Our actions in Ukraine are dictated by only one thing — to end the war that was unleashed by the West and its satellites against the people who live in the Donbas,” Putin said.