Russian reasons Odesa Harbor Missile Which Reaps the World's Criticism

Russian reasons Odesa Harbor Missile Which Reaps the World's Criticism
Russian reasons Odesa Harbor Missile Which Reaps the World's Criticism

Moscow - Russia has revealed why its military launched a missile attack on the Ukrainian port of Odesa, which has drawn criticism from world leaders. The attack came after Russia and Ukraine, brokered by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, agreed to let the port operate for the export of new grains.

Russia's Defense Ministry said its missile strike targeted a Ukrainian military ship and weapons sent by the United States.

"High-precision long-range missiles launched from the sea destroyed the Ukrainian warships that were anchored and the stockpile of anti-ship missiles sent by the United States to the Kiev regime," the ministry said.

"The repair and upgrade plant for the Ukrainian army has also been damaged," the ministry said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned Saturday's attack which came just one day after Moscow and Kiev reached an agreement to resume exports from the port of Odesa.

Zelensky called the attack a "Russian outrage". Zelensky said the attack in Odesa showed Moscow could not be trusted to keep its promises and that dialogue with Moscow was becoming increasingly untenable. "This manifest Russian barbarity brings us closer to obtaining the weapons we need for our victory," Zelensky said in his speech.

Ukrainian officials said grain was being stored at the port at the time of the missile attack, although food stocks did not appear to have been hit. Guterres, who presided over the deal signing ceremony, strongly condemned the Russian missile attack.

The United States also strongly condemned the attack, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying; "It casts serious doubts on the credibility of Russia's commitment to yesterday's deal." Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar earlier said Russia had denied carrying out the attack. But in the end the Moscow military acknowledged it. "The Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with this attack," he told Anadolu news agency.

Odesa regional officials said the attack left people injured and damaged port infrastructure in Odesa, without specifying the number or severity of the injuries. The first major deal between the warring nations is aimed at alleviating "acute hunger", with the United Nations saying an additional 47 million people have been affected by the war.

Ukraine, at the time of signing the deal, warned of an immediate military response if Russia violated the agreement and attacked Moscow ships or carried out attacks in the vicinity of its ports.

Zelensky said responsibility for enforcing the deal fell to the United Nations, which along with Turkey were guarantors of the agreement. Turkey said it was committed to the deal after the attack.

The deal includes points on running Ukrainian grain ships along safe corridors avoiding known mines in the Black Sea. Large quantities of wheat and other grains have been blocked in Ukrainian ports by Russian warships and mines laid in Kiev to prevent the dreaded amphibious assault.

Zelensky said about 20 million tonnes of produce from last year's harvest and current crops would be exported under the agreement, estimating the value of Ukraine's grain stockpile at around $10 billion. Diplomats expect wheat to start flowing completely by mid-August.

Ukraine's presidency said the Istanbul deal had brought little reprieve on the battlefield where Russian troops carried out bombings on a broad front line over the weekend. It said between strikes on the eastern and southern industries, four Russian cruise missiles on Saturday had hit a residential area in the southern city of Mykolaiv, wounding five people, including a teenager.

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