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Ukrainian air defense systems reportedly repulsed Russian airstrikes in the Odesa region and the capital, Kyiv.
Russia launched airstrikes on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa for a second night and hit the capital, Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said, while reports of explosions in the Russian-annexed Crimean port city of Sevastopol.
Odesa regional governor Ole Kiper said on social media early Wednesday that air defense systems were involved in repelling the Russian airstrikes and urged residents to stay in shelters.
Ukraine’s air force said it detected the launch of Russian Kalibr missiles from the Black Sea.
A video posted on social media showing the aftermath of the Russian airstrike on Odessa showed several windows in a multi-story apartment building blown out and shards of glass on the street.
The capital’s military administration reported on the Telegram channel that air defense systems were also involved in repelling the Russian airstrikes on Kyiv. According to Reuters news agency, a witness reported seeing explosions and smoke rising near Kiev.
The attacks on Odesa, one of Ukraine’s main ports for grain exports, followed Monday’s bombing of a bridge linking Russia with the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow blamed on Ukraine.
Shortly after the Crimean bridge was attacked on Monday, Moscow pulled out of a deal to allow grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, a move the United Nations said risked creating starvation around the world.
Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odessa military administration, said in a voice message on his Telegram channel early Wednesday that Russia’s attacks were designed to scare the world and those who wanted to see the continuation of key grain exports from Ukraine.
“[They’re] “They are trying to scare the whole world, especially those who want to work for the grain corridor … Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations,” Bradchuk said.
“But I think all normal, rational people will look and say: Odessa is not afraid, not afraid, not afraid – we will work,” he said.
Online news in Ukraine reported early Wednesday that residents of Sevastopol, the capital of Russia-annexed Crimea, reported hearing explosions in the port city that is home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet. Online footage is also said to show missiles being launched from Sevastopol.
There are no further details or independent confirmation of the events in Sevastopol.
Ukraine’s air force warned of a Russian cruise missile launched from the Black Sea overnight, as all of eastern Ukraine remained under an airstrike alert that began shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
Pro-Kremlin military bloggers said the attacks on Odessa were “massive” and used a combination of missiles and drones in Moscow and other areas.
Reuters could not independently verify the reports.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had struck military targets in two Ukrainian port cities overnight in what it called “a mass retaliatory strike” in response to the attack on the Crimean bridge.