Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at the press conference after the opening session of Crimea Platform conference in Kyiv Ukraine, 23 August 2023. EFE/EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK / POOL 25881 Pool

Deadly Russian strikes on Zelenskyy’s hometown and key port facilities in Odesa

Kyiv, Sep 8 (EFE).- Russian forces targeted port facilities in Odesa in a fifth such attack this week and struck President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s home city of Kryvyi Rih killing at least one person and injuring 32 others, Ukrainian authorities reported Friday.

“32 injured due to a rocket attack in Kryvyi Rih. Most are in moderate or satisfactory condition. However, there are also severe ones,” Serhey Lisak, head of the Military Administration of the Dnipropetrovsk region, where Kryvyi Rih is located, warned on Telegram.

Lisak published images of destroyed and burned infrastructure saying: “Three administrative buildings were damaged. 7 residential buildings were damaged, including a multi-storey building. The fire that started in the garages has been localized.”

According to the military chief, a blaze ripped through garages spanning 200 square meters in the aftermath of the attack.

Russian Armed Forces also conducted overnight attacks in the Odesa region with 20 Shahed kamikaze drones targeting port facilities that are key to Ukraine’s agricultural exports.

“Last night, Russian terrorists attacked Odesa region with attack drones for the fifth time in a week,” regional leader Oleh Kiper wrote on Telegram.

“Our air defense forces destroyed 14 shaheds over the Odesa region.The wreckage of a downed drone damaged a non-residential building. There was also a dry grass fire. The fire was quickly extinguished. Fortunately, no one was killed or injured,” he added.

According to the Ukrainian Air Force, 20 devices were launched from southern and southeastern Russia and Crimea, which has been occupied by Moscow since 2014.

Russia has been targeting Odesa ports and key export facilities ever since Russia abandoned a United Nations-backed Black Sea grain deal in July.

Russia withdrew from the grain deal claiming Western sanctions were targeting its domestic fertilizer and agriculture exports and has called for an end to certain sanctions to revive the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Russian attacks on port and agricultural infrastructures have caused extensive material damage, undermining Ukraine’s export capacity.

The attacks have also wrecked tens of thousands of tons of grain, and have blocked the exit of a large part of Ukrainian agricultural products that were to reach other markets.

Ukraine is one of the world’s leading grain exporters. EFE