Ukraine updates: Russian attack destroys Odesa grain depot

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What you need to know

Ukraine's military on Monday said a Russian attack on the Black Sea port region of Odesa, in the country's south, destroyed a grain hangar and injured four employees.

The attack comes amid fears that Moscow's termination of the Ukrainian grain export deal could make famines in poorer countries worse.

Ukraine reported the latest attack shortly after Russia accused Kyiv of attacking Moscow with drones. Separately, Russia said Ukraine tried to attack the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula with drones that hit an ammunition depot.

Here are some of the other developments from Russia's war in Ukraine on Monday, July 24.

Skip next section Drone attack on Moscow was 'special operation'

2 hours ago2 hours ago

Drone attack on Moscow was 'special operation'

A Ukrainian defense source says a drone attack that damaged two buildings in the Russian capital earlier on Monday was a "special operation" carried out by Kyiv's military intelligence service.

"Today's drone attack on Moscow was a GUR special operation," the source told the AFP news agency, referring to the service. 

Russian authorities have said there were no casualties when the drones hit two non-residential buildings in the city. One of them landed close to the riverside defense ministry building.

More cracks appear in Russia's military

The attack came a day after Kyiv vowed to "retaliate" for a Russian missile strike in the UNESCO-protected city of Odesa. 

Ukraine's digital transformation minister Mykhailo Fedorov said the Moscow attacks and those in Crimea signaled that Russia's electronic warfare means and air defenses are "less and less able to protect the skies of the invaders."

"There will be more of it," he added. next section Kremlin denies strike on Odesa cathedral, blames Ukraine

3 hours ago3 hours ago

Kremlin denies strike on Odesa cathedral, blames Ukraine

Russia has denied that its forces struck a historic Orthodox cathedral in the Ukrainian city of Odesa, which Moscow's military has been targeting for several days. 

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy on Sunday said a Russian missile had damaged Odesa's Spaso-Preobrazhenskyi
Cathedral, or Transfiguration Cathedral.

Without providing evidence, the Kremlin claimed that a rocket launched by Ukraine had hit the building.

Russian attack on Odesa damages cathedral

"We have repeatedly stated and can repeat, that we, our Armed Forces, never strike civilian infrastructure facilities, let alone cathedrals, churches or other similar objects," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

More than 9,000 Ukrainian civilians have died since Russia launched its war of invasion in February last year, according to a UN estimate. next section Russia's Medvedev urges wider choice of targets

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Russia's Medvedev urges wider choice of targets

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow needs to broaden its range of targets in Ukraine.

"[We] need to choose unconventional targets for our strikes. Not just storage facilities, energy hubs, and oil bases," said Medvedev, who is the deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council.

Medvedev, who also served as prime minister under Russian President Vladimir Putin, did not explain what other targets should be chosen. In the same post on messaging app Telegram, he repeated Moscow's allegations that Ukraine was attacking civilian targets and that its counteroffensive was failing.

"There are other places where we are not yet expected and where the effect will be very significant," Medvedev said, without elucidating further.

Ukrainian soldiers shelled at Donetsk training camp next section Ukraine reports more advancement in the southern territory

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Ukraine reports more advancement in the southern territory

The Ukrainian military has retaken over 12 square kilometers (4.6 square miles) of territory in southern Ukraine in their counteroffensive last week, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said on Monday.

"During the week... the liberated area increased by 12.6 square kilometers," she said in televised remarks.

The Ukrainian forces were continuing to advance in several areas towards the southern city of Melitopol and the city of Berdiansk which is on the Azov Sea, she added.

She also said that there was a continuous advance on Bakhmut's southern flanks but to the north Russian forces were "clinging to every centimeter and meter."

Russian forces captured the small city of Bakhmut in May after months of fierce combat.

Last month, Kyiv began its counteroffensive against Russian troops after stockpiling Western weapons. next section Russian ammunition depot in Crimea hit by drone attack

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Russian ammunition depot in Crimea hit by drone attack

An ammunition depot in Crimea was targeted in a drone attack overnight Monday, according to Russia-installed governor Sergei Aksyonov.

The depot was in the Dzhankoy, a district in northeastern Crimea that is located near a key supply route for Russian forces in southern Ukraine, and is also home to an air base. Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

Aksyonov did not provide further details about the impact of the drone attack on the depot, other than there was no indication of any casualties. Nearby villages have been evacuated.

He said 11 drones were either jammed electronically or shot down in the area overnight, adding that road and rail traffic in the area would be suspended for "safety reasons."

The drone strike is the second in three days on Crimea.

A drone attack on Saturday set off an explosion at an ammunition depot. Ukraine said it was behind that attack.

Military analyst assesses drone attacks on Russian-occupied Crimea next section Putin says Russia will replace Ukrainian grain supplies to Africa

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Putin says Russia will replace Ukrainian grain supplies to Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday that Russia is ready to step in and replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa.

"I want to give assurances that our country is capable of replacing the Ukrainian grain both on a commercial and free-of-charge basis," Putin said in a statement.

The pledge comes after Moscow terminated a deal that allowed safe grain shipments from Ukrainian ports. The halt in the deal was followed by intense Russian shelling of essential port infrastructure in southern Ukraine.

The African Union expressed regret over Moscow's decision to end the grain export deal, ahead of the upcoming Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg later this week.

The grain deal with Ukraine had facilitated the export of more than 35.2 million tons of Ukrainian grain over the past year. Russian grain exports amounted to 11.5 million tons in 2022 and nearly 10 million tons in the first half of the current year.

There are concerns that Russia's actions could exacerbate famines in poorer countries reliant on these grain shipments.

How will the end of the Ukraine grain deal impact Africa? next section Ukrainian forces under heavy fire in the east

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Ukrainian forces under heavy fire in the east

Ukrainian forces are facing strong resistance from Russian troops in the eastern part of the country during their counter-offensive operations, the Ukrainian army's General Staff reported on Sunday.

The report highlighted ongoing Russian attacks between Donetsk in the east and Kupyansk in the north-eastern Kharkiv region.

Over the prior 24 hours, a total of 27 battles were recorded along a frontline spanning approximately 230 kilometers.

The report also said that Ukrainian troops had endured relentless attacks from Russian artillery and air force. next section Attack on Odesa destroys grain depot, says Ukraine

6 hours ago6 hours ago

Attack on Odesa destroys grain depot, says Ukraine

Ukraine's southern military command said a Russian overnight drone strike on port infrastructure in the southern region of Odesa destroyed a grain hangar.

"Tonight an almost four-hour attack by 'Shahed-136' drones was directed at the port infrastructure of the Danube" in Odesa, the military command said on Telegram. 

"As a result of the strikes, a grain hangar was destroyed, tanks for storing other types of cargo were damaged."

Air defenses destroyed three of the Iran-made drones, it added. 

"According to initial reports, about four workers of the port were injured, but the information is still being clarified," it said.

Russia has increasingly struck the Odesa region since Moscow withdrew from a key agreement that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain. On Sunday, a Russian strike killed two people and destroyed a historic cathedral.  

Ukraine accuses Russia of targeting grain supplies and infrastructure vital to resuming grain exports

ss/ab,fb (AFP, dpa, Reuters, AP)
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