Russian drone crashes in Romania as Ukrainian ports attacked in overnight blitz

Romanian Air Force F-16
Mircea Moira /

The Romanian Ministry of Defense has said that a Russian drone crashed into its territory overnight causing a 1.5 m deep crater.  

The infringement on Romanian territory came as Russia launched a sustained drone attack on Ukrainian port infrastructure. 

According to Romanian officials, the attacks occurred across December 14 and 15, 2023, close to the border its border with Ukraine.  

The Ukrainian ports of Reni and Izmail on the Danube River saw their civil infrastructure attacked by Russian forces. 

“The Ministry of National Defense monitored the situation in the border area and activated Air Police procedures, also notifying the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations regarding the areas in Tulcea and Galați,” the Romanian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.  

The Romanian General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations issued a RO-Alert message at 10:45 pm local time.  

F-16 fighter jets from the Romanian Air Force’s 86th Air Base in Fetești and Eurofighter Typhoons from the German Air Force were subsequently scrambled to perform surveillance missions of the national airspace. 

The radar surveillance system of the Romanian Army detected a possible unauthorized penetration into the national airspace, with a signal detected at low altitude on a route to the Grindu area, in Tulcea county. 

A possible impact area was investigated and located overnight with news being fed to the Romanian army regarding the drone crater discovered in an uninhabited area about 4 km upstream from the town of Grindu. 

Romania’s Ministry of National Defense said it “strongly condemns the attacks carried out by the Russian Federation against some objectives and elements of civil infrastructure in the Ukrainian ports on the Danube. These attacks are unjustified and in serious contradiction with the rules of international humanitarian law”. 

Evidence from the crash site is being collected and an investigation has been launched. 

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