KYIV, UKRAINE — Grain silos were still burning Sept. 1 in Ukraine’s port city of Mykolaiv after damage caused by Russian shelling the previous day, Reuters reported, citing the State Emergency Services of Ukraine.
“As a result of the shelling of Mykolaiv, grain silos at an infrastructure facility in the Korabelny district caught fire,” the emergencies service said on Facebook on Aug. 31. “Firefighting continues.”
The emergency services published photos showing holes in the metal roofs of at least two silos and fire brigades pouring water on damaged facilities. A 200-square-meter (2,152-square-foot) area had been affected, it said.
Mykolaiv, Ukraine’s second-largest port, is home to several major grain terminals. In early June, Nika-Tera’s large complex at Mykolaiv was hit by a Russian missile attack, resulting in a large fire. That terminal had the capacity to store up to 500,000 tonnes of grain at a time and was equipped with three bulk loading machines.
Russian rocket strikes on Mykolaiv in July hit the residence of a Ukrainian agriculture and shipping executive Oleksiy Vadaturskyi, killing him and his wife. Vadaturskyi, 74, was the founder and chief executive officer of Nibulon, a leading Ukrainian grain producer and shipowner.
Ukraine’s grain exports slumped after Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24 and blockaded its Black Sea ports, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.
Three Black Sea ports were reopened under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey and signed July 22 by Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine said ports covered by the Black Sea Initiative are able to load and send abroad 100 to 150 cargo ships per month. Despite its significant grain shipping facilities, the Mykolaiv port is not covered by the deal.
Ukraine is conducting a counteroffensive in the area, which has come under constant shelling in recent weeks, to try to push Russian troops out of the city of Kherson to the southeast.