Relief chief in Ukraine condemns ‘brutal, relentless’ port attacks by Russia


Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau

UNITED NATIONS,15th Sept. UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Denise Brown on Wednesday in a statement issued condemned a string of Russian attacks on port and grain facilities in Ukraine have intensified in recent days.

Ms. Brown said “There has been almost one attack every other day hitting vital port and grain facilities in Ukraine”.

She said a Russian drone attack early on Wednesday damaged infrastructure at Ukrainian grain-exporting facilities on the Danube River.

Ukrainian officials said buildings including grain warehouses, oil storage tanks and administrative buildings were destroyed.

UN cited port authorities, noted the tragic event had left at least six people injured. No deaths were immediately reported.

Ms. Brown added “It is hugely alarming to hear that the two Ukrainian ports in the Danube River were once again struck during overnight Russian attacks on the Odesa Region,”.

She stressed that this was the latest attack by Russia on Ukrainian port and grain facilities since Moscow quit the UN-brokered deal that had enabled Ukraine to safely export grain through the Black Sea.

“Today’s strike on Ukrainian ports was the 21st of such attacks since Russia’s decision to terminate the Black Sea Initiative less than two months ago”, said Ms. Brown.

“It is shocking but since 17 July there has been almost one attack every other day hitting vital port and grain facilities in Ukraine.”

The grain deal initiative was set up in July 2022, between Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye and the UN.

It enabled the export of over 32 million tonnes of grain.

In July, Russia withdrew from the Initiative, argued that agricultural exporters were not benefiting as the deal and separate Memorandum of Understanding had laid out.

According to media reports, only a handful of vessels, none of them carrying grain, have been allowed to sail from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

Ukraine is a major global supplier of grain such as sunflower oil, bailey, maize and wheat.

Ukraine –Russia war has caused global food prices to surge and is creating shortages of food in Africa and the Middle East. Both import large amounts of food from Ukraine.

Ms. Brown warned “The consequences of this brutal and relentless pattern of Russian attacks are catastrophic for the people of Ukraine and the 345 million people facing hunger worldwide”.

According to news reports, the Governor of the Odesa region that includes the Danube River ports has said 105 port infrastructure facilities in Ukraine had been damaged and partially destroyed since July 18, the day after Russia quit the Black Sea Initiative.

“International humanitarian law strictly prohibits attacks on civilian infrastructure. This must stop,” Ms. Brown added.

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