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Ukraine accuses Russia of intentionally striking Odesa port, grain terminals – National

Ukraine accused Russia on Wednesday of intentionally striking grain terminals and infrastructure in the Black Sea port of Odesa, with one official saying the main aim was to stop Kyiv shipping grain from there.

Russia attacked Odesa for the second consecutive night after quitting a deal on Monday that allowed the safe passage of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

“Russian terrorists absolutely deliberately targeted the infrastructure of the grain deal,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app. “Every Russian missile – is a strike not only on Ukraine but on everyone in the world who wants normal and safe life.”


Click to play video: 'UN Security Council speakers condemn Russia’s termination of Black Sea Grain Initiative'

UN Security Council speakers condemn Russia’s termination of Black Sea Grain Initiative


The Black Sea grain deal, agreed in July last year, was intended to combat a global food crisis worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a blockade of Ukrainian ports.

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Grain terminals and port infrastructure were attacked overnight in Odesa and nearby Chornomorsk, the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development said.

Grain infrastructure of international and Ukrainian traders and carriers such as Kernel, Viterra, CMA CGM Group suffered damage, it said.


Click to play video: 'Crimea bridge attack: Putin says Russia will respond to ‘terrorist act’ in Kerch Strait'

Crimea bridge attack: Putin says Russia will respond to ‘terrorist act’ in Kerch Strait


Zelenskyy has said the Black Sea grain deal could continue without Russian participation, and that Ukraine is working on options to keep its commitments on food supplies.

He ordered Ukraine’s military on Wednesday to strengthen the protection of port infrastructure and people, and told the foreign ministry to intensify contacts with international partners to increase pressure on Russia and to try to ensure grain exports continue.

The attacks on Odesa followed a pledge of retaliation by Russia after a blast on a bridge linking Russia to the Crimean Peninsula on Monday that Moscow blamed on Ukraine.

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Click to play video: 'What Russia’s withdrawal from Black Sea grain deal could mean for global food prices'

What Russia’s withdrawal from Black Sea grain deal could mean for global food prices


But Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said the attacks reflected Russia’s attitude towards food security.

“The main objective is to destroy the possibility of shipping Ukrainian grain,” Podolyak said.

Andriy Yermak, head of Zelenskyy’s office, said: “The Russian terror(ising) of Odesa proves once again that they need hunger and problems in the countries of the Global South. They want to create a refugee crisis for the West.”


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