Conflicts & War

Russian strikes kill 4 in Zaporizhzhia, destroy grain terminals in Odesa

Kyiv, July 21 (EFE) – Four people died Friday after a Russian overnight strike on the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, and grain terminals were destroyed in Odesa as Moscow forces continued to target Ukraine’s agricultural sector for a fourth consecutive night.

“As a result of the attack on the infrastructure facility of the Polohiv district by the Russian military, four employees aged 29, 30, 33 and 43 were killed, and two more injured were sent to a medical facility,” Yuriy Malashko, the head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration said on Telegram.

Russian forces attacked villages in the region that are close to the frontline over 60 times with artillery fire and the attacks caused damage to more than 30 houses and infrastructure, Malashko added.

The Kremlin continued targeting the port city of Odesa for the fourth consecutive night after Russia announced its withdrawal from the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative on Monday.

The latest strike on Odesa hit the grain terminals of an agricultural company destroying 100 tons of peas and 20 tons of barley, according to regional governor Oleh Kiper.

Two people were wounded in the latest attack on Odesa after sustaining cut wounds with glass, Kiper said.

The governor added that after three days of strikes on port infrastructure, Kremlin forces targeted agricultural enterprises in the region on the fourth night of attacks.

Two of the missiles struck barns of one of the targeted agricultural enterprises while another missile caused damage to the machinery of the same company and sparked a fire.

After exiting the grain deal, Moscow said conditions of its deal with the UN had been breached, warning that it could no longer guarantee the safe passage of ships traveling through the northwestern Black Sea.

All Ukrainian grain exports have been leaving the war-torn country from three ports located in the Odesa region.

Ukraine is one the world’s leading agricultural exporters and Russia’s latest strategy could wreak havoc on global food markets, especially in African and Asian countries that are most dependent on Ukrainian grain.

Speaking on Wednesday at a daily press briefing, United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres’ spokesman said that “the attacks (on Ukraine’s port cities) contradict the Russian Federation’s commitments under the Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations” which state that Russia ‘will facilitate the unimpeded export of food, sunflower oil and fertilizers from Ukrainian controlled Black Sea ports.’

Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric added that the attacks would have an impact beyond Ukraine and that the effects were already evident in rising global wheat and corn prices.


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