War in Ukraine: latest developments

By: AFP
Published: 09:09 PM, 23 Jul, 2022
War in Ukraine: latest developments
Caption: Ukraine says Russian missiles had struck the Odessa port, a key Black Sea terminal, one day after Moscow and Kyiv penned a deal to resume grain exports blocked by the war.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

Russia strikes Odessa port after grain deal: Kyiv 

Ukraine says Russian missiles had struck the Odessa port, a key Black Sea terminal, one day after Moscow and Kyiv penned a deal to resume grain exports blocked by the war.

"The enemy attacked the Odessa sea port with Kalibr cruise missiles. Two of the missiles were shot down by air defences. Two hit port infrastructure," Sergiy Bratchuk, a representative of the Odessa region, says in a statement on social media.

Russia and Ukraine signed the landmark deal with the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul a day earlier to unblock grain exports.

Up to 25 million tonnes of wheat and other grain have been blocked in Ukrainian ports by Russian warships and mines Kyiv has laid to avert a feared amphibious assault.

Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko says the strike is Russian leader Vladimir Putin's "spit in the face of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep (Tayyip) Erdogan, who made enormous efforts to reach the agreement".

As one of the agreement's sponsors, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar says Ankara is "concerned" by the strikes but adds that Russian officials denied to Turkey any involvement in the attack.

"The Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with this attack and they were looking into the issue very closely," Akar says.

Russia has yet to officially comment.

Zelensky accuses Russia of violating deals 

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenksy accuses Russia of routinely violating agreements after the Odessa attack.

"This proves only one thing: no matter what Russia says and promises, it will find ways not to implement it," Zelensky says during a meeting with US lawmakers, according to a statement from the Ukrainian presidency.

UN, EU condemns strike on Odessa 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres "unequivocally" condemns the attack.

"The Secretary-General unequivocally condemns reported strikes today in the Ukrainian port of Odesa," his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq says in a statement.

"Full implementation (of the deal) by the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey is imperative," Haq adds.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell slams what he called Russia's "reprehensible" missile attack.

"Striking a target crucial for grain export a day after the signature of (the) Istanbul agreements is particularly reprehensible and again demonstrates Russia's total disregard for international law and commitments," he tweets.

Two Americans die in Ukraine 

Two Americans have died in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, the US State Department says.

"We can confirm the recent deaths of two US citizens in the Donbas region of Ukraine. We are in touch with the families and providing all possible consular assistance," a State Department spokesperson says.

The State Department says it had no further information "out of respect to the families during this difficult time".

The brunt of fighting in Ukraine in recent months has focused on the industrial Donbas region.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.