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It was reported that Ukrainian air defense systems in the Odessa region and the capital Kiev are repelling Russian air attacks.
Ukrainian officials said Russia launched a second night of air strikes on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa as well as attacking the capital Kiev, while reports also emerged of explosions in the Russian-annexed Crimea port city of Sevastopol.
The governor of the Odessa region, Oleh Kepper, said on social media early Wednesday that air defense systems were involved in repelling a Russian air attack, and urged residents to stay in shelters.
The Ukrainian Air Force said it had detected the launch of Russian Kalibr missiles from the Black Sea, without giving further details.
A video posted on social media, purporting to show the aftermath of a Russian air attack on Odessa, showed a multi-storey apartment building with several windows shattered and shards of glass in the street.
The capital’s military administration said via the Telegram messaging app that air defense systems were also involved in repelling a Russian air attack on Kiev. According to the Reuters news agency that an eyewitness heard explosions and smoke rising near Kiev.
Ukrainian news online reported that the head of the Kiev city military administration, Serhiy Popko, said that all Russian drones that attacked the capital were shot down.
“A difficult night of air strikes over all of Ukraine… Odessa in particular. The enemy has not forgotten Kiev either,” Popko was quoted as saying on Telegram.
He was quoted as saying that the Russian attack with Iranian-made drones was “in vain,” adding that no casualties or damage to infrastructure had been reported so far.
The attacks on Odessa, one of Ukraine’s main grain export ports, followed Russia’s vow of retaliation after an explosion on a bridge linking Russia to Crimea on Monday, which Moscow blamed on Ukraine.
Shortly after hitting the Crimean bridge on Monday, Moscow withdrew from an agreement allowing grain to be exported from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, a move the United Nations said threatened to cause hunger around the world.
Russia’s attacks are meant to intimidate the world and those who want to see vital grain supplies continue to be exported from Ukraine, Serhiy Prachuk, a spokesman for the military department of Odessa, said in an audio message on his Telegram channel early Wednesday.
“[They’re] “They are trying to scare the whole world, especially those who want to work in the grain corridor… Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations,” Prachuk said.
And he said: “But I think that all reasonable, normal people will look and say: Odessa was not afraid, is not afraid and will not be afraid – we will work.”
As reported by online news in Ukraine early Wednesday morning, residents of Sevastopol, the capital of Russia-annexed Crimea, reported hearing explosions in the port city where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is based. Online footage also allegedly shows missiles being fired from Sevastopol.
There were no other details or independent confirmation of the events in Sevastopol.
The Ukrainian Air Force also warned of possible Russian cruise missile launches from the Black Sea overnight as the eastern part of Ukraine was under air raid alerts, which began shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
Pro-Kremlin military bloggers said that the attacks on Odessa were “massive” and that Moscow was using a mixture of missiles and drones on the city and other areas.
Reuters could not independently verify the reports.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had bombed military targets in two Ukrainian port cities overnight in a “collective retaliatory strike” in response to the attack on the Crimean bridge.