Ukraine updates: Russian attack destroys Odesa grain depot
Ukraine has reported damage of a grain hangar after an overnight drone attack. Meanwhile, the Kremlin accused Ukraine of launching a drone strike on the Russian capital
Ukraine's military on Monday said a Russian attack on the Black Sea port region of Odessa, in the country's south, destroyed a grain hangar and injured four employees.
The attack comes amid fears that Moscow's termination of the Ukrainian grain export deal could make famines in poorer countries worse.
Ukraine reported the latest attack shortly after Russia accused Kyiv of attacking Moscow with drones.
Here are some of the other developments from Russia's war in Ukraine on Monday, July 24.
Putin says Russia will replace Ukrainian grain supplies to Africa
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday that Russia is ready to step in and replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa.
"I want to give assurances that our country is capable of replacing the Ukrainian grain both on a commercial and free-of-charge basis," Putin said in a statement.
The pledge comes after Moscow terminated a deal that allowed safe grain shipments from Ukrainian ports. The halt in the deal was followed by intense Russian shelling of essential port infrastructure in southern Ukraine.
The African Union expressed regret over Moscow's decision to end the grain export deal, ahead of the upcoming Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg later this week.
The grain deal with Ukraine had facilitated the export of more than 35.2 million tons of Ukrainian grain over the past year. Russian grain exports amounted to 11.5 million tons in 2022 and nearly 10 million tons in the first half of the current year.
There are concerns that Russia's actions could exacerbate famines in poorer countries reliant on these grain shipments.
Ukrainian forces under heavy fire in the east
Ukrainian forces are facing strong resistance from Russian troops in the eastern part of the country during their counter-offensive operations, the Ukrainian army's General Staff reported on Sunday.
The report highlighted ongoing Russian attacks between Donetsk in the east and Kupyansk in the north-eastern Kharkiv region.
Over the prior 24 hours, a total of 27 battles were recorded along a frontline spanning approximately 230 kilometers.
The report also said that Ukrainian troops had endured relentless attacks from Russian artillery and air force.
Attack on Odesa destroys grain depot, says Ukraine
Ukraine's southern military command said a Russian overnight drone strike on port infrastructure in the southern region of Odesa destroyed a grain hangar.
"Tonight an almost four-hour attack by 'Shahed-136' drones was directed at the port infrastructure of the Danube" in Odesa, the military command said on Telegram.
"As a result of the strikes, a grain hangar was destroyed, tanks for storing other types of cargo were damaged."
Air defenses destroyed three of the Iran-made drones, it added.
"According to initial reports, about four workers of the port were injured, but the information is still being clarified," it said.
Russia has increasingly struck the Odesa region since Moscow withdrew from a key agreement that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain. On Sunday, a Russian strike killed two people and destroyed a historic cathedral.
Ukraine accuses Russia of targeting grain supplies and infrastructure vital to resuming grain exports.