Published 2 hours agolast updated 54 minutes ago

Russia’s blockade in the Black Sea and targeting of Ukraine ports has choked the export of grains — a key driver for Kyiv’s economy. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army has deployed reserves in Kupiansk. DW has the latest.

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Workers load grain at a grain port in Izmail, Ukraine
After Russia pulled out of a UN deal to ensure safe grain exports over the Black Sea, Ukraine’s port in Izmail is more crucial than everImage: Andrew Kravchenko/AP Photo/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

Ukraine’s military said key ports on the Danube River came under fire in the early hours of Wednesday.

Russian-operated drones flew towards the Izmail port on the Danube River near the border with Romania, the air force said.

Groups on social media reported hearing air defense systems firing at the port of Izmail and at another in Reni.

Residents were told to take cover and an air raid alert was issued, but was later lifted.

The move comes after a Russian attack in early August hit the Izmail port, prompting a spike in global food prices.

Here’s an overview of some of the main stories concerning Russia’s war in Ukraine on Wednesday, August 16: 

Skip next section US asks Iran to stop selling drones to Russia: FT

54 minutes ago

US asks Iran to stop selling drones to Russia: FT

The United States has asked Iran to stop selling armed drones and spare parts to Russia, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. This was part of a broader discussion of “unwritten understanding” between Washington and Tehran. 

Both Russia and Ukraine are using armed drones in the ongoing war.

One of the officials added that Iran, which has officially denied that its drones are being used in Ukraine, had repeatedly asked Moscow to cease their deployment in Ukraine. Washington urged more concrete steps. 

A look at Ukraine’s use of drones

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Skip next section Russia says it destroyed three Ukrainian drones

1 hour ago

Russia says it destroyed three Ukrainian drones

The Russian military shot down three Ukrainian drones that were trying to attack targets in the Kaluga region, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

“Today around 5:00 Moscow time, an attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack by three drones on facilities in the Kaluga region was foiled,” it said, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

“Russian air defense means detected and destroyed all UAVs in time. There were no damages or casualties,” the ministry said. 

Ukraine: War of the drones

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Skip next section More DW content on Russia’s war in Ukraine

2 hours ago

More DW content on Russia’s war in Ukraine

Welcome to our ongoing coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine. You can catch up on DW’s extensive coverage over Tuesday and also on a selection of DW’s extensive reporting.

The Black Sea was once a geopolitical afterthought in Europe. But that has changed since Russia began its war against Ukraine. DW looks at how many interests are colliding on the inland sea between Europe and Asia.

After five days of consecutive losses, the Russian ruble has crashed below a psychologically important mark of 100 rubles for $1 US. All attempts by the central bank and President Putin have so far been ineffective.

Yehor Oliynik is one of many Ukrainian soldiers defending Ukraine from Russian attacks. But his story is different – despite having lost a leg while fighting, he wants to go back to war using a prosthesis. Not everyone agrees. 

Poland marks Armed Forces Day with military parade

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Skip next section Ukraine’s army moves reserves to Kupiansk

2 hours ago

Ukraine’s army moves reserves to Kupiansk

Ukraine’s army has moved reserve forces to the Kupiansk city in the Kharkiv region, in the face of advancing Russian troops in the eastern Ukrainian region.

“Positions have been reinforced, certain methodological recommendations have been given and reserves have been moved,” the spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern forces, Serhiy Cherevatyi, told television news channel My-Ukraina on Tuesday.

According to military observers, the Russian army has moved up to about 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) from the town. 

Kupiansk was liberated from Russian occupation last year as part of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region.

Local authorities have ordered civilians to evacuate the city.

https://p.dw.com/p/4VDXu

Skip next section Russian drones threaten Izmail river port: Ukraine’s air force

2 hours ago

Russian drones threaten Izmail river port: Ukraine’s air force

A large group of Russian drones entered the mouth of the Danube River and headed towards the Izmail river port near the border with NATO-member Romania, Ukraine’s Air Force said on Wednesday.

In several posts on Telegram, the Ukrainian air force said Iranian-made drones operated by Russian forces had entered the mouth of the Danube River.

Groups on social media reported hearing air defense systems firing in the region near two Danube ports: Izmail and Reni. 

Oleh Kiper, governor of the southwestern region of Odesa where the ports are located, directed residents in Izmail to take shelter around 1:30 a.m. local time (2230 UTC).

An hour after the initial message, Kiper canceled the air raid alert.

Ukraine’s Danube ports previously accounted for a quarter of its grain exports before Russia pulled out of a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey.

Moscow went on to warn that it would treat any ships in parts of the Black Sea as hostile and blow them up. Since the broken deal, Russia has bombed several Ukrainian grain reserves. 

A Russian attack on the Izmail port earlier this month led to higher global food prices.

Ukraine exports grains to several developing nations including those in Africa, which will likely suffer food shortages without a solution.

mk/rs (Reuters, dpa, AP, AFP)

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