Russian missiles strike Odesa one day after grain export deal agreed

By Alex Stambaugh, Jake Kwon and Rob Picheta, CNN

(CNN) – Russian missile strikes have hit the southern Ukrainian port of Odesa, just one day after Ukraine and Russia agreed on a deal that would allow the resumption of vital grain exports from the region.

Serhii Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odessa military administration, said two missiles hit the infrastructure of the port and two were shot down by Ukraine’s air defense.

At least six explosions were heard in Odesa, according to Ukrainian member of parliament Oleksiy Goncharenko.

It comes one day after ministers from both Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement — brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul — to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports aimed at easing the global food crisis sparked by war.

“This is all you have to know about “agreements” with the Russians. Explosions in the seaport of #Odesa. One day after the agreement with #Turkey and #UN was signed re export of #Ukraine’s #grain under which #Russia has committed not to shell the port,” Ukrainian parliament member Solomiia Bobrovska tweeted.

Brachuk has advised residents to stay in shelters as the air alerts continue.
The US Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget A. Brink, called the Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa “outrageous,” saying the Kremlin continues to “weaponize” food and must be held to account.

“That’s all you need to know about deals with Russia,” Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas added on Twitter. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said the bloc “strongly condemns” the attack.

“Striking a target crucial for grain export a day after the signature of Istanbul agreements is particularly reprehensible & again demonstrates Russia’s total disregard for international law & commitments,” Borrell wrote Saturday on Twitter.

Friday’s deal promised to unblock ports on the Black Sea to allow the safe passage of grain and oilseeds — some of Ukraine’s most important exports.

Russia has so far been blocking maritime access to those ports, meaning that millions of tons of Ukrainian grain has not been exported to the many countries that rely on it.

“Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea. A beacon of hope — a beacon of possibility — a beacon of relief — in a world that needs it more than ever,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday at the signing ceremony, which was attended by Ukrainian and Russian ministers.


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