Romania issues emergency alerts after another Russian drone attack near border

Border Guard shot down Shahed drone during an attack on Odesa Oblast on September 6, 2023. Credit: State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

Romanians living near the Ukrainian border received emergency alerts on September 13, 2023, urging them to remain calm and seek shelter after Russia launched another attack on ports on the Ukrainian side of the Danube River. 

Residents near Romania’s border with Ukraine will now receive mobile phone warnings about potential air raids, according to Romania’s National Committee for Emergency Situations. 

The move comes after Romania found drone fragments near its border with Ukraine for the third time in a week. 

Ukrainian grain silos in the city ports of Izmail and Reni, regularly targeted by Russian air strikes, are located 200 meters from the central line of the Danube River, which marks Ukraine’s border with NATO member Romania, and 400 meters away from the Romanian riverbank. 

While it is unclear whether Romania has determined where or when the drones were launched, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stated that the drone fragments discovered were “similar to those used by the Russian army.”  

Romania also began building air-raid shelters near its border with Ukraine on September 12, 2023.  

Around 50 soldiers used concrete slabs to build 10 meter long, 2 meters wide, and 1.5-meter-high shelters, aimed at “protecting the residents” of the village of Plauru, Danube Delta. 

“The shelters we are building now are not aesthetically pleasing because it is a quick intervention,” Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu was quoted as saying by Euro News. “The inhabitants felt unsafe, and we tried to do something for them. But we will make big investments in all the villages.” 

However, Ciolacu has advised people not to be concerned about drones discovered on the country’s territory. 

“No one has attacked us,” he told reporters during a press briefing on September 13, 2023. “Some pieces of a drone that was hit by the Ukrainian army fell. It did not have explosives, or anything damaging.” 

The first drone to land on Romanian territory was reported by Ukrainian authorities on September 4, 2023. While, initially the Romanian Defense Ministry “firmly denied” the drones had landed on Romania’s soil, it later admitted to discovering the wreckage of a drone in the Romanian Danube Delta region. 

“Our partners have tendencies to try not to escalate the interpretation of certain events in order not to be drawn into a direct conflict,” Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, said at the time.   

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