Ukrainian officials reported new Russian aerial attacks Wednesday, including Iranian-made Shahed drones targeting the capital, Kyiv, for a second consecutive night.
Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s military administration, said on Telegram there was an air alert for Kyiv that lasted for two hours, and that Ukraine’s air defenses destroyed “all enemy targets” in the Kyiv area.
Shahed drones also targeted the southern port of Odesa. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Ukraine’s military said it shot down a total of 26 drones launched by Russia.
Officials in the Kyiv region said debris that fell from intercepted drones damaged multiple residential buildings.
In Odesa, regional governor Oleg Kiper said two drones hit an administrative building at the port, while debris from downed drones caused a nearby grain terminal and another terminal to catch fire.
Odesa is a key port involved with the Black Sea Grain Initiative, an agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that allowed for the resumption of critical grain exports from Ukrainian ports that had been blocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The arrangement also includes exports of Russian food and fertilizer. Russia has complained that its portion of the deal is not being fulfilled and has said there are no grounds for extending the agreement beyond its July 17 expiration.
The United Nations said Monday that more than 32 million metric tons of food commodities have been exported through three Ukrainian ports since the initiative began in August 2022.
The U.N. said those exports went to 45 countries, including wheat transported by the World Food Program to people in need in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that allies need to do whatever they can to supply Ukrainian forces with ammunition amid a shortage, and that it is up to individual countries to decide what kind of ammunition to provide.
His comments came in response to a question about U.S. plans to provide cluster munitions, which have been banned by more than 100 countries due to the danger they pose to civilians both during and after conflicts.
Stoltenberg spoke as leaders gathered for a two-day NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, and said the conflict in Ukraine has become a “war of attrition” where the needs for ammunition, fuel and maintenance parts is “enormous.”
He said cluster munitions have been used since Russia invaded in February last year, but that there was a distinction between Russian forces using them to invade a sovereign country and Ukraine using them to defend itself.
Stoltenberg said that at the beginning of the invasion, NATO allies did not have enough ammunition stocks and the capacity for producing more was not enough. He cited efforts to boost production, which have begun to produce results, but cautioned that increasing that capacity takes time.