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UK Intel: Russia targets Danube ports to stop international shipping

Russia strikes ports on the Danube River within 200 meters of the Romanian border, attempting to coerce international shipping companies into halting trade via the ports.
Photo: Anton Gerashchenko \ Twitter. Russia damaged grain in Danube ports on 2 July.
UK Intel: Russia targets Danube ports to stop international shipping

Russia has conducted several strikes with Iranian-produced drones against Ukrainian ports on the Danube River during the last several weeks, UK Intelligence reports.

According to British Intelligence, with such attacks, Russia is likely attempting to coerce international shipping into stopping trading via the ports.

Iranian-produced drones have struck targets as close as 200 meters from the Romanian border, meaning that “Russia has evolved its risk appetite for conducting strikes near NATO territory.”

“There is a realistic possibility that Russia is using OWA UAVs to strike this area in the belief they are less likely to risk escalation than cruise missiles: Russia likely considers them as acceptably accurate, and they have much smaller warheads than cruise missiles,” UK Intel says.

After Russia withdrew from the Black Sea grain initiative on 17 July 2023, Russia launched massive missile attacks on Odesa and the region with missiles and drones, destroying ports, granaries, residential buildings, and other facilities.

On 24 July, Russia destroyed grain warehouses on the Danube River as Ukrainian Danube ports were becoming increasingly important as an alternative route for food exports amid the Russian blockade of the main Odesa and Mykolayiv ports. During the war, the share of Danube ports in Ukrainian food exports tremendously increased from 1-2% to almost 20%.

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