Sept 25 (Reuters) – An overnight Russian air strike on the southern Ukrainian region of Odesa caused “significant damage” to port infrastructure and destroyed some grain storage facilities, Ukrainian officials said on Monday.
No deaths were reported in the attack on Odesa, but at least one person was killed in a separate Russian air strike on the town of Beryslav in the southern region of Kherson region, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said.
“Another massive attack on Odesa! … The attack resulted in the destruction of grain storage facilities and significant damage to the seaport,” Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko, economy minister, said on X.
Oleh Kiper, the Odesa region governor, said the facilities that were hit had almost 1,000 tons of grain in storage.
Russia’s defence ministry also reported Ukrainian attacks overnight, saying drones were shot down over the northwestern part of the Black Sea, over Crimea, and over the Russian regions of Kursk and Belgorod regions. It mentioned no deaths.
The Russian attack on Odesa was the latest in a series of missile and drone strikes which Kyiv says are intended to prevent Ukraine, a major grain producer and exporter, shipping its agricultural products to the world.
“The sea port in Odesa suffered significant damage,” Ukraine’s southern military command said on the Telegram messaging app, also reporting a fire in a hotel that was not in use.
Ukrainian air defences destroyed 19 Iranian-made Shahed drones and 11 cruise missiles overnight, the vast majority of them were directed at the Odesa region, the military said.
It said Russia also fired two hypersonic missiles that destroyed grain storage facilities.
Kiper said a woman was hit by shrapnel and taken to hospital in an attack which energy ministry said damaged power grids and cut off power to more than 1,000 consumers in the Odesa region.
Ukraine’s ability to ship grain has been hit by Russia’s decision in mid-July to quit a U.N.-brokered deal that had allowed safe shipments via the Black Sea, with Moscow saying not enough was being done to improve its own exports.
Kyiv is increasingly shipping grain along the Danube River, by road and by train, and has established a “humanitarian corridor” hugging the Black Sea coast to ship grain for African and Asian markets.
The first two vessels carrying grain to use the corridor left the Black Sea port of Chornomorsk last week.
Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said the latest attack was “a pathetic attempt” to retaliate for Kyiv’s strike on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea navy on Friday.