Russia launches drone strike on key Ukrainian port ahead of grain deal talks with Turkey's prez

Ukrainian forces claimed they shot down majority of the drones

Ukraine Odesa port strike A firefighter works at a site which was hit during Russia's drone attacks in Odesa region, Ukraine on Sunday | Reuters

Russia launched a three-hour drone barrage on Ukraine’s key port during the early hours of Sunday. According to reports, at least two persons suffered injuries in the attack targeting Odesa port.

Russia launched a three-and-a-half hour drone attack on the southern parts of the Odesa region, hitting Danube River port infrastructure, The Guardian reported.

According to reports, Russia launched 25 drones targeting the key Ukrainian port, through which the war-torn country has been exporting grains ever since Russia backed out of the Black Sea grain deal. Two people were hospitalised following a three-hour Russian drone barrage against port infrastructure in Ukraine's Odesa region on Sunday, officials said.

Ukrainian forces claimed they shot down majority of the drones. Russian forces fired 25 Iranian-made Shahed drones along the Danube River in the early hours of Sunday, 22 of which were shot down by air defences, the Ukrainian Air Force said on Telegram.

The Guardian reported Danube has become Ukraine’s main route for exporting grain since the collapse of the UN-brokered Black Sea deal in July. 

The attack comes a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the resumption of food shipments from Ukraine under a Black Sea grain agreement that Moscow broke off from in July.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Chief of Staff, Andriy Yermak, described the assault as part of a Russian drive to provoke a food crisis and hunger in the world. Moscow hasn't commented on the attack.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, two people were killed and two others were wounded during Russian shelling Sunday on the village of Vuhledar in the Donetsk area. Artillery fire hit eight settlements across the region, Ukraine's National Police wrote on Telegram.

Ukrainian prosecutors also announced Sunday that they had opened a war crimes investigation into the death of a police officer killed by Russian shelling on the town of Seredyna-Buda on Saturday afternoon.

Two other police officers and one civilian were wounded during the attack, which hit Ukraine's north-eastern Sumy region.

(With PTI inputs.)

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