Moscow/Kyiv: – On Friday, Russia launched fierce missile attacks on the Kirovohrad province and the leading Ukrainian port Odessa, within hours of the ‘Grain Export Deal’ signed in Turkey. The United Nations, the United States, and Ukraine have strongly criticised the Russian actions. Ukraine has said that this attack poses a question mark on the Russian objectives. Some analysts and media claimed that the Russian attacks could jeopardise the agreement regarding food grain export.
A few days ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Russian campaign’s objectives had been modified. Lavrov said that now Russia will take control over more regions in Ukraine other than only Donbas. The increasing Russian attacks over the last few days endorse the statements of Lavrov. Russian forces are consistently targeting the Mykolaiv and Odessa provinces in south Ukraine. At the same time, Russia also has initiated attacks on the provinces in central Ukraine. Odessa is an important port under Ukrainian control. All the activities, including exports, have stopped in the Odessa port, given the Russian warships deployed in the marine region near the port. Ukraine consented to a food grain export agreement with Russia to start export and other activities in Odessa and other ports. But acquiring Odessa port is an important goal of the Russian military campaign. Accordingly, these fresh Russian attacks indicate that the attacks will continue.
It has been revealed that Russia has targeted Odessa with Calibre missiles. Local Ukrainian officials informed that there had been damages to properties in the Odessa port in these attacks. The US General Secretary criticised that while Odessa port is included in the Grain Deal, Russian attacks on the port are denounceable. Bridget Brink, US Ambassador to Ukraine, expressed displeasure and demanded that Russia, using food grain as a weapon, be made accountable for it.
Following Odessa, Russia also launched missile attacks in the Kirovohrad province. Local sources said that Russia launched at least ten missiles. It is said that the airport and the power generation unit suffered losses in the attacks. Local officials informed that many people, including Ukrainian soldiers, were killed in these attacks. It has also been reported that Russia launched attacks even on Kharkiv city in North Ukraine.