(NationRise.com) – Ukrainian authorities announced on July 18 that its military forces shot down Russian cruise missiles and drones targeting Odesa’s Black Sea port. Russia’s Kremlin condemned the attack and said this was a “strike for retribution” after the bombing that damaged one of Crimea’s main bridges.
The Ukrainian military’s Southern Command released a statement claiming Russia tried to destroy Ukraine’s air defense by deploying 25 “exploding drones.” The statement added that Russian forces then targeted Odesa with six Kalibr cruise missiles that “failed to meet their objectives.” However, it added that one senior civilian was severely injured.
While the debris and shock waves damaged some facilities and buildings, Ukrainian officials said every drone and missile was destroyed. Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry claims the operation was successful and carried out with precision weapons against Ukraine’s military facilities. The ministry added that these weapons destroyed several facilities planning “terror attacks” against the Russian people, including a shipyard and fuel deposits.
On July 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly blamed the Ukrainian government for the attack against the Kerch Bridge in the Crimean Peninsula. Different reports have pointed out that this bridge represents a crucial supply route for Russian forces, which illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.
Over the last few months, Ukraine has been targeting Crimea in an attempt to reclaim it from Russia’s control. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that this peninsula is a legitimate target as it plays a significant role in sustaining the invasion.
The onslaught came after the Kremlin broke off a deal that had allowed the Ukrainian government to ship grain supplies from Odesa during the invasion. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said this decision was “in the works” months before the bridge strike. He claims the Ukrainian government “clearly abused” the routes and shipping lines used for grain transport under the agreement.
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