Odesa is no stranger to Russian missile and drone strikes.
Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, the southern Ukrainian port city has often been targeted by Russian cruise missiles and Iranian drones.
But in recent days the main target for Russia’s strikes on the city have narrowed to Ukraine’s grain infrastructure.
Odesa, on the Black Sea, has long been a key port connecting Ukraine’s agricultural economy to grain markets worldwide. Moscow has targeted it since the early days of the war, hoping to hamstring Ukraine’s economy.
Russia’s attacks have intensified after it pulled out of an international deal struck last year that was meant to keep grain flowing out of Ukraine.
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Now, instead of blockading ships and keeping them from leaving port, Russia is striking grain infrastructure itself with cruise missiles and drones.
These attacks reach beyond Odesa: Earlier this week, Russia targeted a port on the Danube River, drawing condemnation from Romania’s president on the other side of the water.
The attacks have helped push global grain prices higher over the last week. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently explained that impoverished areas of the world will be the first to feel the effects of the strikes.