Ukraine announced that it had been subjected early today, Monday, to a new wave of Russian drone attacks, at a time when Moscow was talking about thwarting a new Ukrainian attempt to land in the Crimea.
The Ukrainian Air Force said that its defenses had intercepted 23 of the 32 drones that targeted the country’s southern and eastern regions.
And the governor of Odessa province (south) Ole Kipper announced that the region of the grain export ports in the province was subjected to a second consecutive day of attack by marches.
Kiber added that the bombing targeted the port of Ismail on the Danube River, and resulted in the destruction of grain stores and production facilities, noting that the Ukrainian air defenses managed to shoot down 17 drones, but other drones hit their targets.
The attack on Port Ismail comes ahead of an upcoming meeting today between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, which is expected to deal with a return to the grain export agreement that Russia withdrew from in mid-July.
It also comes one day after Russian attacks on the port of Reni, which also overlooks the Danube River, and while Kiev confirms that the Russian bombing targets the port infrastructure facilities, Moscow says that the targeted sites are used for military purposes.
Failing to launch
In other field developments, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the destruction of 4 boats carrying Ukrainian landing forces heading towards Crimea in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.
The ministry also said that the air defenses shot down at dawn today a Ukrainian drone over the Black Sea off Crimea, and shot down another over the Kursk region in the south of the country on the border with Ukraine.
And the Russian Ministry of Defense announced last Wednesday the destruction of 4 Ukrainian boats carrying 50 members of the special forces, and before that Kiev announced that its forces carried out a qualitative operation in Crimea, during which they raised the Ukrainian flag.
For his part, a spokesman for the southern forces in the Russian army said that his country’s forces have strengthened their positions in Donetsk province (east), repelled attacks by Ukrainian forces on the Marinka front and eliminated more than 250 Ukrainian soldiers.
Also on the Donetsk front, Anna Malyar, the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, announced today that her country’s forces had regained control of 3 kilometers of territory near the city of Bakhmut last week.
The Ukrainian army also said that Russian forces carried out air strikes on 15 Ukrainian towns in the Bakhmut region, and added that those forces carried out a failed attack in the Avdiivka region, also indicating that a Russian attack was repelled in the town of Marinka in the same province.
Yesterday, Sunday, Kiev announced that it had managed to penetrate the first Russian defense line in the Zaporizhia region (southeast).
The new Minister of Defence
On the other hand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appointed Rustam Amirov as a new Minister of Defense to replace Oleksiy Reznikov, who holds the position prior to the outbreak of the war with Russia in late February 2022.
Zelensky said that Parliament will discuss Amirov’s appointment this week, pointing out that the Ministry of Defense needs new methods and forms of interaction with the army and society.
The new defense minister hails from Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and he is a politician close to the president, and he had a role in the negotiations on the grain deal and the exchange of prisoners.
The Ukrainian president’s decision came after investigations into suspicions of corruption related to a military clothing and food supply deal concluded by the Ministry of Defense, as well as recruitment operations.
On the other hand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he had concluded a very important agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron regarding the training of Ukrainian pilots in France.
Zelensky added that he had discussed with Macron what Paris could provide in terms of assistance to protect the Odessa region, which is vital for grain export operations.