Russian strikes on the Ukrainian Odessa region ahead of a summit between Putin and Erdogan

Russian strikes on the Ukrainian Odessa region ahead of a summit between Putin and Erdogan

Russia carried out a "huge" attack with marches targeting the Ukrainian region of Odessa on Monday, according to the Ukrainian authorities, which led to damage to infrastructure a few hours before a meeting between the Turkish and Russian presidents in Sochi in an effort to revive the Ukrainian grain export agreement.

For his part, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov announced on Monday that he had submitted his resignation to Parliament, the day after President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the appointment of his successor, after corruption scandals that affected the ministry against the backdrop of the Russian invasion.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the city of Sochi overlooking the Black Sea in southwestern Russia to discuss resuming the agreement that Russia terminated in July, with the fall harvest season approaching.

The agreement, which was reached in the summer of 2022 under the auspices of Turkey and the United Nations, allowed the export of grains from Ukraine and allayed global fears about rising food prices.

Erdogan hopes to revive the agreement in a way that establishes more comprehensive peace negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, relying on his relationship with Putin, which has remained close despite the Russian invasion, while Ukraine launches a counterattack.

In the southern Odessa region, which was targeted by another attack the previous night, local governor Oleg Kiper announced on Monday via Telegram that “our air defenses shot down 17 drones.”

He pointed out that "warehouses, production buildings, agricultural machinery, and industrial company equipment were damaged in several towns around the Ismail region" southwest of Odessa, noting that the attack lasted three and a half hours and did not cause casualties.

The port of Izmail, located on the Danube River near Romania, a member of NATO, has become an important corridor for Ukrainian exports since Russia withdrew from the grain agreement in mid-July.

"Big night attack"

For its part, the Operations Command in southern Ukraine reported a "major night attack" using marches on "civilian infrastructure in the Danube region."

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said yesterday that Russian drones bombed industrial sites on the Danube River on Saturday night and Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Russian army reported that it struck the port of Reni in the Odessa region with drones, targeting “fuel storage facilities used to supply military equipment belonging to the Ukrainian armed forces.”

On Monday, Ukraine announced limited gains on the southern front and the recovery of three square kilometers near Bakhmut (east).

In Kiev, the authorities reported receiving a new bomb threat from all schools in Kiev, three days after the first similar report they received at the beginning of the school year on September 1, which turned out to be false.

Moscow also announced on Monday that it had destroyed four speedboats carrying Ukrainian soldiers in the Black Sea.

The Russian Ministry of Defense stated on Telegram that “planes belonging to the Black Sea Fleet destroyed” on Sunday night “in the northwestern part of the Black Sea four American-made Willard Sea Force fast military boats (carrying) armed Ukrainian landing groups.”

The ministry indicated that the boats were heading towards Ras Tarkhankut in the western Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, without giving further details.

On Wednesday, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported the destruction of four Ukrainian gunboats carrying 50 special forces personnel.

On August 24, Kiev announced that it had carried out a qualitative operation in the Crimean Peninsula during which it raised the Ukrainian flag, “before leaving without recording losses among its ranks,” according to the Ukrainian Military Intelligence Service.

Moscow also announced on Monday that it shot down a Ukrainian drone over the Black Sea off Crimea, and another in the Russian Kursk region bordering Ukraine.

Attacks with marches on Russian territory and the Crimean Peninsula have increased in recent weeks.