Kyiv said Russian missiles that struck the Ukrainian port city of Odessa in an “outrageous” attack hours after a landmark food supply deal hit a grain complex.
A representative of the Ukrainian military said that Kalibr cruise missiles were aimed at a grain processing plant this morning, but added that they “did not cause significant damage.”
According to them, exports will continue as planned.
President Zelensky wrote in Telegram: “This proves only one thing: whatever Russia says and whatever it promises, it will find ways not to fulfill it.”
The footage shows Ukrainian air defense equipment intercepting two missiles in the air but failing to stop two more hitting targets in the besieged port city.
Heavy airstrikes doused them with cold water Yesterday, a “landmark” agreement was signed in Istanbul to unblock important grain exports stuck in three ports, including Odessa.
Eyewitness video shows the moment a Russian cruise missile hit a grain processing plant on the shores of the Black Sea this morning. Kyiv said that no grain was lost as a result of the attack
The US ambassador in Kyiv, Bridget Brink, called the attack “outrageous”. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “unequivocally” condemned the strikes, his spokesman said.
Farhan Haq added: “These products are much needed to solve the global food crisis and alleviate the suffering of millions of people living in need around the world.”
“Full compliance by the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey is mandatory.”
There were no casualties as a result of the attack, the rockets did not hit the grain warehouse, reported in Kyiv.
Minister of Infrastructure Alyaksandr Kubrakou wrote on Facebook: “We are continuing technical preparations for the launch of the export of agricultural products from our ports.”
Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called on the UN and Turkey to ensure the implementation of the agreement, which should enter into force in the next few weeks after the strikes.
Footage taken today by local residents of Odessa shows the port burning after being hit by Russian Kalibr missiles. It is believed that two missiles hit targets in the Black Sea export capital
It is unclear whether this will happen after all.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s statement on Saturday, describing the progress of the war, made no mention of any strike on Odessa.
The ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment from global media.
Ms Brink wrote on Twitter: “Russia has struck the port city of Odessa less than 24 hours after signing an agreement to allow agricultural exports.
“The Kremlin continues to use food as a weapon. Russia must be held accountable.”
The attack came minutes after Russian bombs fell on a university in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city.
At least one person was injured today at the National University of Economics.
Army officials inspect the damage at the National Economic University in Kharkiv today
The Russian blast came minutes after the port city of Odessa was struck
At least one person was injured in the attack on Ukraine’s second largest city near the border
Putin’s grain blockade, which has been in place since the February 24 invasion, has trapped tens of millions of tons of food bound for the Middle East and Africa.
Yesterday’s deal was aimed at averting hunger among tens of millions of people in poorer countries by bringing wheat, sunflower oil and fertilizer to world markets, including for humanitarian needs, in part at lower prices.
According to the plan, Ukrainian officials will direct the ships through secure channels through mined waters to three ports where they will be loaded with grain.
Ukrainian officials were universally appalled by the immediate and apparent violation of the agreement
Moscow denies responsibility for the food crisis, accusing sanctions of slowing its own food and fertilizer exports and Ukraine of mining the approaches to its Black Sea ports.
Senior UN officials, briefing reporters on Friday, said the agreement is expected to enter into force in a few weeks and restore grain shipments from the three reopened ports to pre-war levels of 5 million tonnes a month.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the deal as “a deal for the world”, although he admitted it “wasn’t easy… it was a long road”.
A truck is pictured waiting at a grain terminal in Odessa during cleaning early this morning
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, whose country provided the neutral ground for the signing of the treaty, was quick to praise his involvement in orchestrating the deal.
“We are proud to have played an important role in an initiative that will play an important role in solving the global food crisis, which has been on the agenda for a long time,” he said.
He went on to boldly declare: “The war will end at the negotiating table. This is a turning point.”
The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s blockade of Ukrainian ports has exacerbated disruptions to global supply chains and, along with Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, fueled high inflation in food and energy prices after Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Grain fields are on fire on the outskirts of Kurakhov near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Thursday
Guterres said the agreement opens the way for significant commercial food exports from three key Ukrainian ports – Odesa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny – and explained that the UN would establish a focal point to monitor the agreement’s implementation.
British Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister-designate Liz Truss congratulated Turkey and the UN for brokering the agreement, but stressed that the responsibility for fulfilling its promises lies with Russia.
“Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine means that some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are at risk of having nothing to eat,” Truss said.
“This agreement must now be implemented, and we will ensure that Russia’s actions match its words.”
Turkish President Erdogan (R) and UN Secretary-General Guterres (L) sit as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu shakes hands with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) arrive at the signing ceremony of the initiative on the safe transportation of grain and food products from Ukrainian ports in Istanbul
The United States also welcomed the agreement and said it was focused on holding Russia accountable for its implementation.
Mr Guterres said overseeing the deal was one of the most important feats of his career, but conceded nothing could be done to punish Russia if it reneged on the deal’s terms.
The head of the UN said that the violation of the agreement would be “an absolutely unacceptable scandal, and the entire international community will react to it very harshly.”
The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Alexander Kubrakou is present at the signing ceremony in Istanbul
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who personally signed the agreement, said that Moscow will not “take advantage” of demining and the opening of Ukrainian ports.
“Russia has undertaken the obligations that are clearly spelled out in this document,” Shaigu said on the air of the state television channel “Russia-24” after the signing ceremony in Istanbul.
“We will not take advantage of the fact that the ports will be cleaned and opened.
“We made that commitment.”
Turkey, a NATO member with good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, controls the straits leading to the Black Sea and acts as a grain broker.
Russian-Israeli oligarch Roman Abramovich, who also acted as negotiator and ambassador, was pictured in attendance at yesterday’s signing.
Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), told reporters that it remains to be seen how exports will begin, given that Ukraine’s shores are littered with mines.
“This is a long-needed breakthrough for millions of people who rely on the safe passage of grain to survive. But although this is an important step, there is still a lot of work to be done,” he said.
“Ensuring the safety of the crew will be critical if we are to see this agreement implemented quickly. Questions remain about how ships will navigate heavily mined waters and how we can effectively manage ship crews in the region to meet the proposed deadline.”