April 24, 2024

Russia pounds southern Ukraine in third night of fire attacks

Moscow also promised “retribution” earlier this week for an attack that damaged a vital bridge between Russia and the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula. Russian officials blamed that strike on Ukraine.

In Mykolaiv, Russian strikes destroyed several floors of a three-story building and caused a fire that affected an area of ​​450 square meters (4,800 square feet) and burned for hours. Two people were hospitalized, including a child, according to the regional governor.

In the port city of Odesa, at least two people were injured after a Russian airstrike damaged buildings in the city center and caused a fire covering an area of ​​300 square meters (3,200 square feet), Odesa Governor Oleh Kiper said.

The strikes came one day after intense Russian bombing using drones and missiles damaged critical port infrastructure in Odesa, including grain and oil terminals. The attack destroyed at least 60,000 tons of grain.

The European Union’s foreign affairs chief criticized Russia’s targeting of grain storage facilities.

“More than 60,000 tons of grain are burned,” Josep Borrell said in Brussels on Thursday, commenting on Moscow’s recent tactics. “So not only do they withdraw from the grain agreement … but they’re burning the grain.”

In addition, the White House warned on Wednesday that Russia is preparing possible attacks on civilian shipping vessels in the Black Sea. The warning could alert shippers and raise grain prices further.

A destroyed building is destroyed after the Russian attack in Odesa, Ukraine on July 20, 2023. Pavlo Petrov / AP

Russia has laid additional sea mines in the approaches to Ukrainian ports, White House National Security Council spokesman Adam Hodge said in a statement.

“We believe this is a coordinated effort to justify attacks on civilian ships in the Black Sea and to blame Ukraine for these attacks,” the statement said.

In the Russian-annexed territory of Crimea, meanwhile, an “enemy drone” – an apparent reference to Ukraine – attacked a settlement in the northwest of the peninsula, the region’s governor Sergei Aksyonov, appointed in Moscow, reported on Thursday. He said the attack damaged several administrative buildings and killed a teenage girl.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the country’s military continues to train with fighters from the private military contractor Wagner, on a training ground near the border with Poland.

The exercises will continue for a week, the ministry said on Telegram, promising to share more details later.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who brokered a deal that ended last month’s uprising launched by Wagner’s chief executive, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has said his country’s military could benefit from the combat experience of the rebels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *