Russia carried out an air strike on Monday on Izmail, a major port on the Danube River in Ukraine from which grain is exported. The attack comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are scheduled to hold talks on grain exports.
The Ukrainian Air Force called on Izmail residents around midnight to seek shelter. Some Ukrainian media reported hearing explosions in the area. It is still unclear whether there is any damage or casualties.
Putin and Erdogan are meeting today in the Russian resort of Sochi on the Black Sea, while Ankara and the United Nations are trying to revive the Ukrainian grain export agreement to address the global food crisis. Ankara described the talks as crucial to the agreement.
Russia withdrew from the agreement in July, a year after it was reached with mediation by the United Nations and Turkey. The country believes its food and fertilizer exports are being hampered, and that not enough Ukrainian grain is going to countries in need.
Since the end of the grain deal, Moscow has launched regular attacks on ports on the Danube River, which has since become Ukraine’s main export route. On Sunday, the other major port of Rene on the Danube was attacked, damaging the port’s infrastructure and injuring at least two people.
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