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WORLD

Russian Strikes in Ukraine’s City of Odesa Damage Port, Grain Silo and an Abandoned Hotel

September 25, 2023

KYIV, Ukraine — A Russian drone and missile strike near Odesa damaged infrastructure, a grain silo and an abandoned hotel and injured one person in the Black Sea port city as attacks elsewhere in Ukraine killed five civilians and wounded 13 in the past day, Ukrainian officials said Monday.

Ukraine’s air force reported downing all Russian drones launched overnight, but one of 12 Kalibr missiles and two P-800 Oniks cruise missiles apparently made it past air defenses the day after the war in Ukraine entered its 20th month.

Russia has continuously targeted port and grain storage facilities in Odesa since pulling out of a wartime deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports to countries facing the threat of hunger. The attacks have destroyed silos, warehouses, oil terminals and other infrastructure critical for storage and shipping.

The Russian Defense Ministry said long-range missiles and drones were used to strike facilities that it alleged had housed foreign mercenaries and trained saboteurs. The ministry didn’t name locations or provide other specifics to support its claim. It also said it downed several Ukrainian drones.

The attacks came as independent U.N.-backed human rights experts said they found new evidence of war crimes committed by Russian forces and as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the arrival of the first Abrams tanks sent by the U.S.

In this photo provided by the Odesa Region Administration, firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a hotel at the seaport after a Russian rocket attack in Odesa, Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. (Odesa Region Administration via AP)

The U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said it found evidence of crimes committed by both sides in the war, but far more by Russians, including instances of torture, some of it fatal, and rape of women as old as 83. It said it was also looking into allegations that Russian forces committed genocide.

Zelenskyy thanked allies on Telegram for their support in announcing the anticipated arrival of the tanks. He didn’t say how many tanks had arrived, but the U.S. has said it was sending 31 tanks.

In other fighting, Russian forces also dropped bombs and launched six heavy artillery strikes on southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, destroying a school and factory and damaging residential buildings. Three of the deaths reported by the Ukrainian president’s office were in the region: two people were killed and two others were injured by bombs that hit the city of Beryslav. A man was killed in the neighboring village of Lvove.

In eastern Ukraine, Russians attacked residential areas of 10 cities and villages in the Donetsk region, killing two people in the village of Zarichne, according to the presidential office.

In this photo taken from video released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, soldiers take their places inside a military helicopter of the Russian air force prior to military action in an unknown location in Ukraine. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

During fighting in southeast Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian army carried out five airstrikes on Orikhiv, a small city, and its surrounding area.

The Russian Defense Ministry said its air defenses downed three Ukrainian drones over the Kursk region of Russia and three others over the Bryansk region early Monday. It also reported that three drones were shot down over the Belgorod region.

Kursk Gov. Roman Starovoit said a downed drone over the center of the city of Kursk damaged the roof of an administrative building and several private houses and shattered windows in an apartment building. Starovoit said there were no injuries.

A day earlier, a Ukrainian drone damaged the roof of an administrative building in Kursk that some Ukrainian and Russian media reported housed the offices of the Federal Security Service, Russia’s main domestic security agency.

Bryansk Gov. Alexander Bogomaz said the drones caused no casualties, but Ukrainian rockets damaged a farm building and killed cattle.

During the drone attack, Russian authorities delayed or diverted several flights at Moscow’s airports.

The Defense Ministry said five other Ukrainian drones were also shot down over Crimea and the Black Sea.

 

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