AP

Russia says strike on Ukrainian port hit military targets

Jul 24, 2022, 9:10 AM | Updated: 9:16 am

In this photo provided by the Odesa City Hall Press Office, firefighters put out a fire in a port a...

In this photo provided by the Odesa City Hall Press Office, firefighters put out a fire in a port after a Russian missiles attack in Odesa, Ukraine, Saturday, June 5, 2022. (Odesa City Hall Press Office via AP)

(Odesa City Hall Press Office via AP)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian defense officials insisted Sunday that an airstrike on the Ukrainian port of Odesa hit only military targets, but the attack tested an agreement on resuming grain shipments that the two countries signed less than a day before the assault.

Long-range missiles destroyed a docked Ukrainian warship and a warehouse holding Harpoon anti-ship missiles supplied by the U.S., Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said at a daily briefing.

Speaking late Saturday in his nightly televised address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attack on Odesa “destroyed the very possibility” of dialogue with Russia.

Under the grain-shipment agreement obtained by The Associated Press, both Kyiv and Moscow agreed not to target vessels and port facilities involved in the initiative, including the ports of Odesa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny.

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

Command spokeswoman Nataliya Humenyuk said no grain storage facilities were hit. Turkey’s defense minister, however, said he had had reports from Ukrainian authorities that one missile struck a grain silo while another landed nearby, although neither affected loading at Odesa’s docks.

It was not immediately clear how the airstrike would affect plans to resume shipping Ukrainian grain by sea in safe corridors out of the ports.

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

Senior U.N. officials voiced hopes that the deal would end a months-long standoff that threatened food security around the globe.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Ukrainian authorities reported that Russian shelling continued to kill and wound civilians in Ukraine’s south and east.

The governor of the eastern Donetsk region, one of two that make up Ukraine’s industrial heartland of the Donbas and a key focus of Russia’s offensive, said two civilians had been killed and two more wounded over the previous 24 hours.

The U.K. military reported Sunday in its daily intelligence update that Russia was making “minimal progress” in its Donbas offensive, which it said remained small-scale and focused on the city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region.

The Ukrainian military’s General Staff confirmed in its regular update that Russia was “conducting military operations to create conditions” for an assault on Bakhmut, while firing on surrounding settlements and battling Ukrainian defenders for control of a nearby thermal plant.

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

“Also, as a result of the scattering of munitions and their fragments, fires occurred in open areas in the city,” said Vitaly Kim, governor of the Mykolaiv region.

In other developments:

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

The Institute for the Study of War quoted Kherson Oblast Administration Adviser Serhiy Khlan as saying Ukrainian forces have seized unspecified settlements in the region, but he called on Ukrainian civilians to remain silent on the progress of the counteroffensive until Ukrainian authorities released official statements.

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

— Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials as his country seeks to break diplomatic isolation and sanctions by the West over its invasion of Ukraine.

Lavrov landed in Cairo late Saturday on the first leg of his Africa trip, which will also include stops in Ethiopia, Uganda and Congo, according to Russia’s state-run RT television network.

Speaking at a news conference following bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shukri, on Sunday, Lavrov said that he had “reaffirmed the commitment of Russian grain exporters to fulfill all their obligations” in the wake of the U.N.-backed deal to unblock grain shipments.

— 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 is a Russian-U.S. peace negotiation.”

Orban said Saturday in a speech in Baile Tusnad in central Romania that “a new strategy is needed which should focus on peace talks … instead of winning the war.”

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

The far-right leader went on to say that had Donald Trump and Germany’s Angela Merkel still been in charge in their countries, “then this war would never have broken out.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

1 day ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

1 day ago

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

2 days ago

Donald Trump's hush money trial: 12 jurors selected...

Associated Press

Although 12 jurors were picked for Donald Trump’s hush money trial, selection of alternates is ongoing

A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial. The proceedings are close to opening statements.

2 days ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

3 days ago

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Russia says strike on Ukrainian port hit military targets