After pulling out of a grain agreement that allowed Ukraine exports across the Black Sea, Russia launched a massive attack on Ukrainian grain export infrastructure.
BBC reported that Russian drones and missiles struck targets on Ukraine’s Black Sea Coast overnight and Wednesday morning. A military spokesperson in Odesa called the strikes “a truly massive attack.”
The attacks were launched on the second night in a row after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This wartime agreement, which had been in effect since last summer, allowed Ukrainian grain to be exported to countries facing the threat of starvation. The Kremlin said that the export demands made under the agreement were not being met and pulled out just hours before the attacks.
According to the Associated Press, Serhii Pokko, head of the Kyiv Military Administration, made a statement on social media describing the night as “a difficult one for all of Ukraine”.
Popko reported that at least 12 civilians were injured in the recent attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure, but no deaths have been reported.
Officials in Ukraine claim that the Russians fired Kalibr cruise missiles, Onyx anti-ship missiles, and Kh-22 supersonic missiles. They also launched kamikaze drones. According to Ukrainian officials, Ukrainian forces shot down 37 missiles. However, many managed to get through the defenses.
“I saw a flash of red in the window, and reacted instantly,” a resident from Odesa told Reuters. “I went downstairs. It was noisy, filled with smoke, and people were in panic. Some were crying. Glass shards scattered everywhere. It was impossible to stay in the area.
The Associated Press reported that grain prices increased by more than 3% on Wednesday, as Russia launched its attacks in Odesa. This continued to raise concerns about the stability of the market, which began when the Kremlin left the initiative.
Annalena Bärbock, the German Foreign Minister, said on Twitter: “Putin didn’t just blow up the Black Sea Grain Initiative. He also hit Odesa for the second night in a row with a hailing of bombs.” “He is depriving the world of all hope for Ukrainian grain by doing this.” Each of his bombs hits the poorest people in the world.
The attack was described by Russia as a “massive revenge strike” after the attack on the bridge built by Russians that connects Crimea with mainland Russia. According to the Kremlin, the attack resulted in the death of a Russian couple and the destruction of a section of the bridge.
According to the Associated Press, Ukrainian officials hinted at the fact that their forces were behind the attack on this bridge but did not claim official responsibility.