Another night of hell in Odessa and other Ukrainian ports under Russian shelling

Southern Ukraine suffered its third “hell night” by the Russian bombings that particularly hit the port of Odessa on the Black Sea, a new target for Moscow since it withdrew from an agreement on key grains for world food.

Ukraine accuses Russia of specifically attacking its port infrastructure with the aim of preventing any possible recovery of its grain exports.

At least two civilians were killed bombings in Odessa and Mykolaiv, Another port in southern Ukraine, at the mouth of the Bug River into the Black Sea, local authorities said, posting pictures of burning buildings and destroyed facades.

In Odessa, the caretaker of a building was found “under the rubble” after a shelling that destroyed an administrative building in the center and damaged several houses, said the governor of the Odessa region, Oleg Kiper.

In Mikolaiv, the mayor’s office indicated that “at least five residential buildings were damaged” and one person’s body was found.

Emergency services rescue a victim from the wreckage of a building destroyed by a Russian attack in Odessa on Thursday. Photo: EFE

“It was a hellish night for our people!” summed up the director of the Ukrainian emergency service, Serguiy Kruk.

The Ukrainian Air Force has indicated that Russia has launched in total 38 missiles and drones against the two cities.

“Unfortunately, it is not possible to intercept all missiles, especially the Kh-22 and Onyx supersonic missiles, which are very difficult to destroy,” Oleg Kiper said on Telegram.

These missiles, which Russia uses very little, were already launched during an attack on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday against the grain terminals and port infrastructures of Odessa and Chornomorsk. destroying silos and 60,000 tons of grain.

On Thursday, the Russian military said it had only attacked military installations in the Odessa region and near Mykolaiv.

A firefighter tries to put out the fire in a house in Odessa on Thursday.  Photo: REUTERS
A firefighter tries to put out the fire in a house in Odessa on Thursday. Photo: REUTERS

Search the rubble

In Mykolaiv itself, according to residents, rescue teams were working through the rubble to find survivors.

Oleksiy Luganchenko, 72, feared the death of her sister who was in the rubble. The brother-in-law’s body has already been recovered.

“Who needs this war?” she wondered. “I told them they had to go and now they’re dead.”

According to a local employee of the Red Cross, Arkadi Dabatian, many civilians, including children, were injured. “Unfortunately we had to help a 12-month-old boy,” he said.

Following similar threats from Moscow, Ukraine warned on Thursday that all ships sailing through the Black Sea to Russia and areas occupied by Moscow’s troops may be considered “as military cargo transport with all risks Associates”.

The start of the Russian offensive in February 2022 led to the blockade of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea until an agreement brokered by Turkey and the United Nations was signed in July last year and extended twice.

But on Monday the Kremlin announced it was withdrawing from the deal after months of complaints that it violated a provision in the deal for the export of its agricultural products and fertilizers.

Emergency services are working in the Ukrainian town of Mykolaiv, following a Russian attack on Wednesday night.  Photo: EFE
Emergency services are working in the Ukrainian town of Mykolaiv, following a Russian attack on Wednesday night. Photo: EFE

On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin assured that Russia is ready to return if its demands are “fully” met, and accused Western powers of “political blackmail”.

attack in the Crimea

In Crimea, the southern Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, a drone strike killed a teenage girl and damaged four administrative buildings, Moscow-appointed local governor Sergei Aksionov said on Thursday.

Local authorities evacuated 2,000 civilians on Wednesday due to a fire on military land in the eastern part of the peninsula that continued on Thursday.

The frequency of detonations at the location, which may be due to it being an ammunition depot, “has significantly decreased,” local authorities indicated on Telegram.

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the bombing, but its forces have ramped up attacks on Crimea, that is a key supply point for Russian troops on Ukrainian territory.

On the front line, the fighting is concentrated in eastern Ukraine, where the counter-offensive launched by Kiev in June is struggling to break through the Russian lines despite Western supplies of weapons.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podoliak said his country needs an additional 200-300 armored vehicles to break through Russian lines and 60-80 F-16 jets, as well as 5-10 Patriot air defense systems, either American-made or of its French counterpart, SAMP/T.

Source: AFP

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