Russia Strikes Ukraine’s Odesa Port for a 2nd Night in Row

KYIV—Russia launched an extensive air attack on the Ukrainian city of Odesa for a second night in row on Wednesday.

The attack was “very powerful, truly massive,” Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesperson for the Odesa military administration, said in a voice message on his Telegram channel on Wednesday.

“It was a hellish night,” he said, adding that details on damage and casualties would come later.

Ukraine’s air force said 63 missiles and drones had been launched across the country by Russia in the overnight attack.

Ukraine’s southern military command said Russia had used supersonic missiles, including the Kh-22 that was designed to take out aircraft carriers, to strike Odesa’s port infrastructure.

“(The strike) hit a grain and oil terminal, damaged tanks and equipment for loading, a fire started, all relevant services are working to deal with the consequences,” the military said.

Odesa’s three ports were the only ports operating in Ukraine during the war under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, an agreement which Moscow withdrew from on Monday. Russia has since conducted two major bombardments of the city.

The attacks on Odesa followed a pledge of retaliation by Russia after a blast on a bridge linking Russia to the Crimean Peninsula on Monday.

Ukraine’s southern command said warehouses in Odesa storing tobacco and fireworks were also hit.

Most of Ukraine was under air raid alerts on and off starting soon after midnight on Wednesday, with Russia striking other places, including Kyiv, targeted with drones.

“A difficult night of air attacks for all of Ukraine, especially in the south, in Odesa,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv’s city military administration, said on the Telegram channel.

He said Kyiv was attacked and according to preliminary information there was some damage or casualties.

There was no immediate comment from Russia.

On Tuesday, Russia’s Defence Ministry said it had hit military targets in two Ukrainian port cities overnight as “a mass revenge strike” for the attack on the Crimean Bridge.

In Crimea, a fire broke out a military training ground in the Kirovske district, forcing the evacuation of more than 2,000 people from four settlements, the governor of Crimea said.

Sergei Aksyonov did not give a reason for the blaze.

Telegram channels linked to Russian security services and Ukrainian media said an ammunition depot was on fire at the base after a Ukrainian overnight air attack.

UN Works on Ideas for Grain Exports

At the United Nations on Tuesday, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said there were a “number of ideas being floated” to help get Ukrainian and Russian grain and fertilizer to global markets.

NTD Photo
Commercial vessels part of Black Sea grain deal wait to pass the Bosphorus strait off the shores of Yenikapi during a misty morning in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 31, 2022. (Umit Bektas/Reuters)

The Black Sea deal was brokered by the U.N. and Turkey in July last year to combat a global food crisis worsened. The two countries are among the world’s top grain exporters.

Moscow spurned calls from Ukraine to allow shipping to resume without Russian participation, with the Kremlin openly saying ships entering the area without its guarantees would be in danger.

“We’re talking about an area that’s close to a war zone,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “Without the appropriate security guarantees, certain risks arise there. So if something is formalised without Russia, these risks should be taken into account.”

Russia says it could return to the grain deal, but only if its demands are met for rules to be eased for its own exports of food and fertiliser.

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