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Romania, a NATO neighbor of Ukraine, lies all too near Russia’s strikes on Danube ports.


His thatched-roof shack on the financial institution of the Danube River simply 200 yards from Ukraine has no operating water, and attending to it entails ready for a ferry and a bumpy journey on grime roads.

Final week, nevertheless, the farmyard house of Gheorge Puflea, 71, turned a chunk of attention-grabbing actual property due to its undesirable standing as the primary property in NATO territory broken in a Russian assault aimed toward Ukraine.

The drone missile assault, carried out earlier than daybreak on Aug. 2, hit a Ukrainian cargo port throughout the river, nevertheless it was so shut that shock waves from the explosions shattered home windows in Plauru, a tiny hamlet with only a dozen tumbledown properties on the Romanian facet of the Danube.

The sound of the blasts and breaking glass woke Mr. Puflea from his sleep and despatched him speeding outdoors in a panic.

“At first I believed it was a thunderstorm,” he mentioned, recalling how he had taken shelter below a pear tree in his yard after which watched in horror as “what appeared like a struggle film performed out proper on my doorstep.”

The night time sky crackled with Ukrainian antiaircraft hearth, and big fireballs rose from three Ukrainian port buildings blasted by Russian drones. Every week earlier Russia had attacked Reni, one other Ukrainian port throughout the Danube from Romania.

Ukraine’s major Danube ports — Izmail and Reni — have additionally turn into a probably perilous tripwire, as they lie so near Romania, a member of NATO, and due to this fact to territory lined by the alliance’s dedication to collective safety. A Russian drone or missile flying a number of yards off target would danger dragging america and its allies right into a direct army confrontation with Moscow.

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