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19 Jul, 2023 17:58

Russia reveals details of massive missile strikes on Ukraine

Moscow has ramped up long-range strikes against the country in the aftermath of a Ukrainian attack on the Crimean Bridge
Russia reveals details of massive missile strikes on Ukraine

Russia launched a massive cruise missile and suicide-drone barrage on targets in Ukraine overnight, the country’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. Military infrastructure, fuel depots, weapon stockpiles, and an airbase were among the targets identified by the Russian military in its daily briefing.

It said a group strike had been conducted using “high-precision sea- and air-launched weapons,” which struck “military industry facilities, fuel infrastructure, and ammunition depots” near the city of Odessa, as well as Ukraine’s Kanatovo air base in Kirovohrad Region. All the designated targets were successfully hit and the objectives of the strikes were achieved, it added.

Footage circulating online shows massive explosions in the vicinity of Odessa, including at its Black Sea ports. Ukrainian officials have claimed the strikes also inflicted damage on civilian infrastructure, with the city’s mayor, Gennadiy Trukhanov, saying the attack was the largest since the beginning of hostilities. He described last night in the city as “terrible.”

A grain terminal at a port near Odessa was damaged in the strikes, but it was not immediately clear what exactly struck the installation, particularly given the recent history of Ukraine’s own air-defense units inflicting damage on civilian infrastructure in the country, and even abroad.

The port town of Chernomorsk, located some 20km south of Odessa, experienced particularly heavy destruction overnight, according to Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Nikolay Solskiy. Some 60 tons of grain were destroyed there, while damage to the port will take around a year to repair, he claimed.

The ramped-up long-range attacks come after Russia withdrew from the so-called Black Sea grain deal, which was agreed in July 2022. The initiative, facilitated by the UN and Türkiye, lifted the naval blockade on Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, facilitating its grain exports. None of the promises made to Russia under the deal, such as lifting sanctions and enabling its grain and fertilizer exports, have ever been fulfilled.

The termination of the deal coincided with a new Ukrainian attack on the strategic Crimean Bridge. The blast killed a Russian civilian couple and seriously injured their 14-year-old daughter. The incident was described by top Russian officials as a “terrorist attack,” with President Vladimir Putin vowing to retaliate.