The aftermath of a strike by Shahed drones against Izmail, a grain port in southwestern Ukraine, positioned on the north bank of the Danube River opposite Romania. The video is taken from the Romanian side of the river. The original source refers to the munition as Geran-2, the Russian designation for the Iranian-supplied Shahed-136.


Since withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain initiative, Russia has focused on Ukrainian port facilities, launching a series of attacks with missiles and drones against Odessa and other port cities. The fact that they are willing to strike targets a mere 150 meters from a NATO country speaks to their trust in the accuracy of this platform and their determination to disrupt Ukraine’s ability to export grain. Attacking grain terminals with missiles and drones seems to be the primary tactic in this effort. Though they have threatened a traditional naval blockade, Russia’s fleet has proved vulnerable to naval drones and cruise missiles, as demonstrated by a recent drone attack against two patrol ships.


Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea grain Initiative and to attack Ukrainian port infrastructure had grave consequences and carries the potential to escalate this conflict. The disruption of Ukrainian grain exports has raised grain process worldwide and threatens to heighten food insecurity in developing countries in Africa and Asia. The elevation of insurance premiums will raise the shipping cost for all goods on vessels transiting the Black Sea, which will increase prices for consumers in countries already struggling to cope with inflation. The potential of turning the Black Sea into an open conflict zone and the associated risks to international shipping increase the potential for more belligerents to enter the conflict. Drones and missiles falling out of the sky a rifle shot from a NATO ally creates an additional risk for escalating the conflict.


The Kremlin is attempting to capitalize on this issue by exploiting another front. Capitalizing on the vulnerability of developing nations in Africa, as well as deep seated anger towards Europe’s colonial past, Russia is attempting to brand itself as the continent’s savior. With promises of investment, free grain, military hardware, and Wagner mercenaries to combat ISIS, Russia is offering to supplant the resentment of European colonial influence with a guarantee of Russian imperial dominance. This cynical effort to court autocrats and military juntas creates the potential for a parasitic relationship win which African nations barter their natural resources for the bare minimal support required to sustain their populations and regimes.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

Published 6 months ago

The aftermath of a strike by Shahed drones against Izmail, a grain port in southwestern Ukraine, positioned on the north bank of the Danube River opposite Romania. The video is taken from the Romanian side of the river. The original source refers to the munition as Geran-2, the Russian designation for the Iranian-supplied Shahed-136.


Since withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain initiative, Russia has focused on Ukrainian port facilities, launching a series of attacks with missiles and drones against Odessa and other port cities. The fact that they are willing to strike targets a mere 150 meters from a NATO country speaks to their trust in the accuracy of this platform and their determination to disrupt Ukraine’s ability to export grain. Attacking grain terminals with missiles and drones seems to be the primary tactic in this effort. Though they have threatened a traditional naval blockade, Russia’s fleet has proved vulnerable to naval drones and cruise missiles, as demonstrated by a recent drone attack against two patrol ships.


Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea grain Initiative and to attack Ukrainian port infrastructure had grave consequences and carries the potential to escalate this conflict. The disruption of Ukrainian grain exports has raised grain process worldwide and threatens to heighten food insecurity in developing countries in Africa and Asia. The elevation of insurance premiums will raise the shipping cost for all goods on vessels transiting the Black Sea, which will increase prices for consumers in countries already struggling to cope with inflation. The potential of turning the Black Sea into an open conflict zone and the associated risks to international shipping increase the potential for more belligerents to enter the conflict. Drones and missiles falling out of the sky a rifle shot from a NATO ally creates an additional risk for escalating the conflict.


The Kremlin is attempting to capitalize on this issue by exploiting another front. Capitalizing on the vulnerability of developing nations in Africa, as well as deep seated anger towards Europe’s colonial past, Russia is attempting to brand itself as the continent’s savior. With promises of investment, free grain, military hardware, and Wagner mercenaries to combat ISIS, Russia is offering to supplant the resentment of European colonial influence with a guarantee of Russian imperial dominance. This cynical effort to court autocrats and military juntas creates the potential for a parasitic relationship win which African nations barter their natural resources for the bare minimal support required to sustain their populations and regimes.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

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