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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Sami Quadri

Odesa port severely damaged in overnight Russian missile strikes

At least one person has been left injured after Ukraine’s southern port of Odesa was hit by Russian missiles overnight.

Ukrainian officials said grain stores were destroyed after Russia “attacked the south of the country again” on Sunday night.

Russian forces have significantly ramped up attacks on Ukraine’s grain exports after Vladimir Putin pulled out of a deal that allowed cargo ships to continue sailing out of Odesa and other ports in July.

Nataliya Gumenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian southern military command, said Russia was apparently “trying to test out the density of the air defence”.

She added: “They understand that port infrastructure is a priority for our region, and that it is reliably protected. However, that is why the attack that occurred tonight was both massive and by combined means.”

Firefighters work at a site of a hotel damaged by a Russian military attack (DSNS Ukraine)

Oleh Kiper, governor of the Odesa region in southern Ukraine, said one woman is injured and port infrastructure was damaged following the overnight missile and drone attack.

Kiper said a fire broke out in a non-residential high-rise in the city of Odesa as a result of the attack, but was promptly extinguished.

The Defence Forces of the South of Ukraine said Russia directed 19 drones, 12 Kalibr missiles and 2 Onyx supersonic missiles at Odesa.

They claimed all 19 Shaheds and 11 Kalibrs “were shot down”.

Since the Black Sea Grain initiative lapsed on July 17, Russian forces have destroyed more than 280,000 tons of grain, British officials say, which is enough to feed over one million people for a year.

Grain from the Black Sea region is considered vital for staving off hunger in lower-income countries.

Russia is hoping to deprive Ukraine of one of its most precious export revenues by throttling the last remaining shipping routes.

It comes after Kyiv chiefs claimed their missile strike on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet killed “dozens” of top naval officials.

Military bosses said the attack in Crimea had caused multiple deaths and injuries.

An official statement said Friday’s onslaught on the key naval facility left “dozens of dead and wounded occupiers, including the top management of the fleet”.

Kyrylo Budanov, Kyiv’s intelligence chief, added that two Russian commanders were also badly injured in the missile strike.

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