Russian Attack Damages Port Infrastructure in Odesa

Odesa port region
Ukraine is working to expand shipping activity from its Black Sea ports (file photo pre-war)

Published Jul 5, 2024 12:03 PM by The Maritime Executive


Russian forces launched a ballistic missile attack on the Odea port region on Thursday evening, July 4, causing damage and starting at least one fire. The attacks came as Ukraine works to continue to rebuild shipping volumes and after reports of a drone-boat attack on the Russian port of Novorossiysk in the Eastern Black Sea region. 

Ukrainian forces reported that one person was killed and seven were injured in the attack on the Odesa port complex. The Ukrainian Air Force said that the attack was directed toward Chornomorsk, one of the key port regions for the country. Port facilities and administrative buildings were damaged as well as reports of damage to housing. There were unconfirmed reports of explosions in the city of Odesa.

Odesa and the port region have come under frequent attacks in the past although there had not been recent reports of damage. On May 1, Russian forces attacked the port region in Odesa and according to Ukrainian media damaged a private postal facility and $76,000 in shipments.

In addition to the attack on the Odesa region, there were widespread reports of Russian drones targeting multiple sites in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Air Force said a total of 22 drones were identified while it claimed to have downed 21 of the attacks. 

Yesterday’s attack followed Russian reports that its forces prevented a drone attack on Novorossiysk from causing significant damage. The last round of drone attacks to reach Novorossiysk was on May 17.

Ukraine has been working to expand its shipping operations from the Black Sea ports. The head of the parliamentary finance committee, Danylo Hetmantsev posted data on social media highlighting the growth in activity in the first six months of 2024. He noted that a year ago Ukraine had been hampered by the UN-led initiative which required inspections and permits for ships to enter the region. 

Hetmantsev said without the restraints of the UN program and using the corridor established by the Ukrainian military they were able to grow shipments by 68 percent in the first half of 2024 versus 2023. While two-thirds continue to be agricultural products, they were also able to add metal and mining products contributing to the growth and providing critical export income for the country.

The report said a total of six seaports are now active in Ukraine. This spring major carriers MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Maersk, and Hapag-Lloyd each restored the container services from the Black Sea ports. Recently, it was reported that Ukrainian ferry service on the Black Sea would also be restored starting this month.