Russian drones threaten Ukraine’s key Danube River ports

Russian drones said to have entered Danube River area and air defence heard firing near the ports of Izmail and Reni: Reports

Ukraine’s air force said a wave of Russian military drones had entered the mouth of the Danube River and were headed towards the country’s Izmail river port near the border with Romania.

Social media groups monitoring the war reported hearing air defence systems firing in the area near Ukraine’s Danube ports of Izmail and Reni early on Wednesday morning.

The governor of southern Odesa region, Oleh Kiper, asked residents of Izmail district to take shelter at around 1:30 a.m. (22:30 GMT on Tuesday) and cancelled the air raid alert one hour later.

Ukraine’s Danube River ports accounted for around a quarter of all grain exports from Ukraine before Russia recently pulled out of a deal allowing safe passage for the export of Ukrainian grain via the country’s Black Sea ports.

Danube River ports have now become the main export route, with grain shipments sent on barges from Ukraine across the Danube to Romania and its Black Sea port of Constanta for onward shipment.

A Russian attack on the Izmail port in early August sent global food prices higher.

The attack on by Russian drones on Ukraine’s Izmail port earlier this month was so intense that it reportedly shattered windows in Romanian villagers located across the Danube, according to an Al Jazeera reporter.

Russia’s defence ministry also said on Wednesday that air defence systems had destroyed three Ukrainian drones early over the country’s Kaluga region.

There were no casualties and no damage in the attempted attack which took place at around 5 am Moscow time (02:00 GMT), the ministry added.

The Kaluga region is located southwest of Moscow.

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