Russian Missile Strikes Kill One, Injure 19 in Odesa, Ukraine.

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Tragic Casualties and Damage in Odesa

At least one person has been killed, and 19 others injured in a series of Russian missile strikes on the port city of Odesa, Ukraine. The Regional Governor, Oleh Kiper, reported that 14 people were hospitalized, including four children, due to the devastating blasts. The historical Transfiguration Cathedral also suffered severe damage from the missile strikes, according to the city council.

Constant Attacks on Odesa After Grain Deal Withdrawal

Moscow has intensified its attacks on Odesa since it withdrew from a landmark grain deal on Monday. The situation has been dire, with Governor Kiper describing it as “another night attack of the monsters.” He revealed that the strikes destroyed six residential buildings, including apartment complexes.

Transfiguration Cathedral Devastated

The Transfiguration Cathedral, affiliated with the Moscow-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church, bore the brunt of the destruction. Odesa’s largest Orthodox church, consecrated in 1809, suffered significant damage, with half of its roof destroyed, and the central piles and foundation severely affected. The scene was heartbreaking, with shattered windows, blown-out stucco molding, and parts of the cathedral engulfed in flames.

Calls for Ceasefire and UN Intervention

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has repeatedly urged Russia to halt the attacks on Odesa, which is designated an endangered World Heritage site. However, Russia continues to target the region with various types of missiles. Ukraine’s presidential office, through Andriy Yermak, urged for more missiles and defense systems to protect civilians and critical infrastructure.

Impact on Grain Deal and Odesa’s Economy

Odesa is Ukraine’s major port, and the recent attacks have disrupted vital grain supplies and infrastructure, crucial to the UN-backed grain deal that Russia withdrew from earlier this week. The deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN in July 2022, allowed cargo ships to traverse a corridor in the Black Sea. Tragically, a previous strike obliterated around 60,000 tonnes of grain, highlighting the devastating consequences of the ongoing conflict in the region.

SOURCE: Ref Image from The Indian Express

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