Russia says attack on Ukrainian port hit military targets

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officials of the Russian Ministry of Defense insisted on Sunday that the airstrike on the Ukrainian port of Odessa was only against military targets, but the attack was a test of an agreement to resume grain shipments that the two countries signed less than a day before the assault.

Long-range missiles destroyed a moored Ukrainian warship and a warehouse of US-supplied Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said at a daily briefing.

Speaking late on Saturday evening in his late-night televised address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attack on Odessa had “destroyed the very possibility” of dialogue with Russia.

Under a grain shipment agreement obtained by the Associated Press, both Kyiv and Moscow agreed not to strike ships and port facilities involved in the initiative, including the ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny.

In this photo provided by the press service of the Odessa City Hall, firefighters put out a fire in the port after a Russian rocket attack on Odessa, Ukraine, June 5, 2022.  Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa just hours after Moscow.  and Kyiv signed agreements allowing the resumption of grain exports from there.

In this photo provided by the press service of the Odessa City Hall, firefighters put out a fire in the port after a Russian rocket attack on Odessa, Ukraine, June 5, 2022. Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa just hours after Moscow. and Kyiv signed agreements allowing the resumption of grain exports from there.
(Press service of the Odessa City Hall via AP)

RUSSIA TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROCKET STRIKE ON UKRAINIAN PORT CITY 1 DAY AFTER EXPORT PERMIT

The Ukrainian military said four cruise missiles were involved in the attack, two of which were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses.

The press secretary of the command, Natalya Gumenyuk, said that the granaries were not damaged. Turkish Defense Ministerhowever, he said he had reports from Ukrainian authorities that one rocket had hit a grain silo and another had landed nearby, though neither had affected loading at the Odessa docks.

It was not immediately clear how the airstrike would affect plans to resume maritime transportation of Ukrainian grain along safe corridors outside ports.

Russia and Ukraine on Friday signed identical agreements with the UN and Turkey in Istanbul aimed at clearing the way for the shipment of millions of tons of much-needed Ukrainian grain, as well as the export of Russian grain and fertilizer.

Senior UN officials said they hope the deal will end months of fighting that has threatened food security around the world.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Ukrainian authorities said Russian shelling continues to kill and injure civilians in southern and eastern Ukraine.

The governor of the eastern Donetsk region, one of the two regions that make up the Donbass, Ukraine’s industrial heartland and a key center of Russia’s offensive, said two civilians had been killed and two others wounded in the previous 24 hours.

The British military said Sunday in its daily intelligence report that Russia has made ‘minimal progress’ in his offensive into the Donbass, which he said remained small-scale and focused on the town of Bakhmut in eastern Donetsk Oblast.

Smoke rises into the air after shelling in Odessa, Ukraine, Saturday, July 16, 2022.

Smoke rises into the air after shelling in Odessa, Ukraine, Saturday, July 16, 2022.
(AP Photo/Nina Lyashonok)

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed in its regular update that Russia was “conducting hostilities to create the conditions” for the assault on Bakhmut, while shelling nearby communities and battling Ukrainian defenders for control of a nearby thermal power plant.

In southern Ukraine, regional officials said at least five civilians were wounded by Russian shells in the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

“Also, as a result of the scattering of ammunition and their fragments, fires broke out in open areas within the city,” said the governor of the Nikolaev region Vitaly Kim.

In other developments:

— A Washington-based think tank said Ukrainian forces are likely preparing to launch or launched a counter-offensive in the Kherson region.

The Institute for the Study of War cited Kherson regional administration adviser Serhiy Khlan as saying that Ukrainian forces had seized unspecified settlements in the region, but urged Ukrainian civilians to remain silent on the progress of the counteroffensive until Ukrainian authorities release official statements.

The ISW noted that open source information on any progress by Ukrainian troops “is likely to be limited and will lag behind events.”

— Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials as his country seeks to overcome diplomatic isolation and Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

Lavrov landed in Cairo late on Saturday evening. the first leg of his trip to Africawhich will also include stops in Ethiopia, Uganda and the Congo, according to Russian state broadcaster RT.

RUSSIA AND UKRAINE SIGNED A GRAIN EXPORT DEAL TO ISTANBUL, PREVENTING THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS THREAT

Speaking at a press conference after bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri on Sunday, Lavrov said he “reaffirmed the commitment of Russian grain exporters to fulfill all their obligations” following the UN-signed deal to unlock grain. supplies.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a speech in Romania that Western sanctions against Russia have failed and that the war in Ukraine will not end “until there are peace talks between Russia and the United States.”

Orbán said Saturday in a speech at Baile Tusnad in central Romania that “a new strategy is needed, which should be focused on peace negotiations … instead of winning the war.”

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“The situation is such that today we are sitting in a car with flat tires on all four wheels,” he said. “It is clear that the war cannot be won in this way. Ukrainians will never win a war against Russia with American trained officers and weapons.”

The far-right leader went on to say that if Donald Trump and Germany’s Angela Merkel were still in power in their respective countries, “then this war would never break out.”