Two Russian Kalibr cruise missiles hit the port’s infrastructure and Ukrainian air defenses downed two more, the Southern Command of the Ukrainian military said. No damage was reported or whether the strike claimed casualties.
“It took less than 24 hours for Russia to launch a missile attack on the port of Odessa, breaking its promises and undermining its commitments to the UN and Turkey under the Istanbul Accords,” said Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko. “In case of non-compliance, Russia bears full responsibility for a global food crisis.”
Nikolenko described the rocket attack on the 150th day of Russia’s war in Ukraine as “Russian President Vladimir Putin spits in the face of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who have made great efforts to reach an agreement.” .
Guterres’ office said the UN chief “clearly condemned” the strikes.
“Yesterday, all parties at the global level made a clear commitment to ensure the safe transportation of Ukrainian grain and related products to global markets,” Guterres said in the statement. “These products are urgently needed to address the global food crisis and alleviate the suffering of millions of people in need around the world. Full implementation by the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey is imperative.”
During a signing ceremony in Istanbul on Friday, Guterres hailed the agreements to open Ukraine’s ports in Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny to commercial food exports as “a beacon of hope, a beacon of opportunity, a beacon of relief in a world that more than needs it.” ever.”
The agreements aimed to open the way for the shipment of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain and some Russian grain and fertilizer exports blocked by the war. Ukraine is one of the world’s top exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but the Russian invasion of the country and naval blockade of its ports halted supplies.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press showed the agreements, which called for the creation of a United Nations-led joint coordination center in Istanbul, where officials from Ukraine, Russia and Turkey would oversee planning and searches of cargo ships.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his late night video address that the accords “offer an opportunity to avert a global catastrophe — a famine that could lead to political chaos in many countries around the world, especially those countries that are helping us.”
The head of Zelenskyi’s office, Andriy Yermak, said on Twitter that the strike in Odessa, so soon after the Black Sea Ports Agreement was approved, illustrated “Russia’s diplomatic dichotomy.”
US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink condemned the Russian strike in the port of Odessa as “outrageous”. “The Kremlin continues to arm food,” she tweeted. “Russia must be held accountable.”
Along with the attack on Odessa, the Russian military on Saturday fired a barrage of missiles at an airfield and railway facility in central Ukraine, killing at least three people, while Ukrainian forces launched missile attacks on river crossings in a Russian-held southern region.
The attacks on key infrastructure marked new attempts by the warring factions to tip the scales of the grueling conflict in their favor.
In the central Ukrainian region of Kirovohradska, 13 Russian rockets hit an airfield and a railway facility. Governor Andriy Raikovych said at least one soldier and two guards were killed and another 16 injured in the strikes near the city of Kirovohrad.
In the southern Kherson region, which Russian troops captured early in the invasion, Ukrainian forces preparing for a possible counter-offensive fired rockets at Dnieper crossings in an attempt to cut off supplies to the Russians. Still, Russian troops have largely held their ground in the Kherson region north of the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Fighting raged unabated in Donbass, eastern Ukraine’s industrial heartland, as Russian troops attempted to make fresh advances against fierce Ukrainian resistance.
Earlier this week, Ukrainians bombed the Antonivskyi bridge over the Dnieper using the US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, said Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-appointed Kherson regional administration.
Stremousov told Russia’s state news agency Tass that the only other crossing of the Dnieper, the dam at the Kachovka hydroelectric power station, was also attacked by rockets launched with Washington-supplied weapons, but were not damaged.
HIMARS, capable of launching GPS-guided missiles at targets 80 kilometers (50 miles) away, beyond the range of most Russian artillery systems, has significantly bolstered Ukraine’s strike capability.
In addition, Ukrainian forces shelled a car bridge over the Inhulets River in the village of Darivka, Stremousov told Tass. He said the bridge east of the regional capital of Kherson suffered seven hits but remained open. Stremousov said that unlike the Antonivskyi bridge, the small bridge in Darivka has no strategic value.
Since April, the Kremlin has focused on seizing Donbass, a predominantly Russian-speaking region in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists have declared independence.
However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed on Wednesday that Moscow plans to retain control of other areas in Ukraine that its armed forces occupied during the war.
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https://6abc.com/russia-missiles-black-sea-ukraine/12068909/ Russia hits Ukraine’s Black Sea port in wake of grain deal