A large part of the Ukrainian territory was shaken in the early hours of this Wednesday, July 19, by a series of Russian airstrikes, especially in Odessa, in the south, hit for the second consecutive night. The bombardments intensify after the promise of retaliation from Moscow for the deadly explosion last Monday at the Crimean bridge, built by the invading troops. Meanwhile, the Kremlin accuses Kiev of attacking a Russian military camp in that province that caused a fire at an ammunition depot and forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 people.
The Black Sea port of Odessa was the target of a flurry of Russian airstrikes for the second night in a row.
While the invading troops fired missiles and drones across Ukraine, the greatest fury was concentrated in the south of the country, where the attacks damaged critical port infrastructure, including facilities for transporting grain and oil, and injured at least 12 people. people, Kiev officials said.
According to the authorities of the invaded country, Moscow intends to hit hard the facilities that serve the export of Ukrainian agricultural food, after last Monday the Kremlin withdrew de facto from the agreement.
“The main goal is to destroy the possibility of sending Ukrainian grains,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said.
“It was a hellish night… The attack was very powerful, truly massive,” added the spokesman for the Odessa military administration, Serhiy Bratchuk.
Russia attacked the key Ukrainian port city of Odessa with missiles and drones overnight, marking the second consecutive night of attacks. Six people were injured, including a 9-year-old boy. Russia has said that its attack was in retaliation for the deadly explosion on the… pic.twitter.com/t6iIMwvHO6
—The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 19, 2023
This area of the country is critical to the country’s hard-hit economy. Odessa’s three ports have been the only ones operating in Ukraine amid the war under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allowed crucial grain exports to reach the world, including many countries facing the threat of famine, before Moscow withdrew this week. Since then, Russia has carried out extensive bombardments against the city.
The Russians “are trying to scare everyone, especially those who want to work on the grain deal. Ukraine, Turkiye and the United Nations,” Bratchuk said.
In addition to its occupation goals, Moscow would be striking heavy blows in retaliation. The Kremlin troops intensify their bombardments in the area after a strong explosion was recorded last Monday that damaged the Crimean bridge, a road built by the Russians in the province that Vladimir Putin annexed in 2014. An assault from which the Kremlin accuses Kiev and that he left two people dead.
The Air Force of the invaded nation assured that this Wednesday Russia launched 63 missiles and drones throughout the country, 37 of which were shot down. A smaller proportion than kyiv usually reports that its military manage to intercept.
Attack on Russian military camp forces evacuation of thousands
Meanwhile, several explosions hit a Russian military training camp in Crimea, sparking a fire. The fire broke out in an ammunition storage, local press reported.
Kremlin-appointed officials in Crimea said more than 2,200 people were evacuated from four villages due to the flames.
The fire also caused the closure of a major highway, said Sergey Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed head of the peninsula.
Although the Government of Volodimir Zelenski has not officially been awarded what would be an operation by the Ukrainian Army, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, celebrated the “success” of this action on his social networks.
“There has been a successful operation in the occupied Crimea. The enemy hides the extent of the damage and the number of victims,” Budanov said on Telegram.
The Russian government lashed out at the West, accusing it of ignoring “terrorist attacks” committed by Ukraine, which it claims is Russia, even though it involves territories seized from the invaded country.
“The West as a whole is ready to turn a blind eye to any terrorist attack that the Kiev regime organizes in our country (…) They do not shy away from any kind of silence. This is not news. It was like that before and it will continue to be like that. We fully understand this,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Amid the crossroads of bombing in Odessa, a key center for the export of grain to the world, the crucial grain treaty is suspended.
Wheat prices rose more than 2.5% last Tuesday and more than 3% on Wednesday. The situation illustrates the jitters in world markets just days after Moscow withdrew from the pact, brokered by Ankara and the UN.
On this day, Russia also attacked Kiev with Iranian-made Shahed drones, but “without result”, according to the head of the capital’s military administration, Serhii Popko, after the Ukrainian Air Defense intercepted all the drones there that They pointed to the city, so no victims are reported.
With Reuters and AP
Source: France 24