Deadly Russian strike wounds 22 , damages a cathedral in Odesa

AFP , Sunday 23 Jul 2023

Ukraine on Sunday said 22 people, including four children, were wounded in a Russian overnight missile attack on Odesa that also killed two persons.

Destructed Transfiguration Cathedral as a result of a Russian missile strike in Odesa on July 23, 2023. AFP


"A man born in 1974 was killed in the night time shelling," Igor Klymenko, Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, said on Telegram, bringing the toll to two. "Twenty-two people were injured. Among them are four children: 11, 12, and two 17-year-olds."

Kyiv also on Sunday said Russian strikes "destroyed" an Orthodox cathedral under UNESCO protection in Odesa's historic city centre, calling it a "war crime".

"The Transfiguration Cathedral, located in the historic centre of Odesa, protected by UNESCO, was destroyed. A war crime that will never be forgotten and forgiven," Ukraine's foreign ministry said on Twitter.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to retaliate against Russian forces after Moscow attacked the historic port of Odesa with missiles.

"Missiles against peaceful cities, against residential buildings, a cathedral," Zelensky said. "There will definitely be a retaliation against Russian terrorists for Odesa. They will feel this retaliation."

Meanwhile, Moscow said it hit all intended targets in Ukraine's port city Odesa port, claiming the sites were being used to prepare "terrorist acts" against Russia.

"At night the armed forces of the Russian Federation caried out a strike... on facilities where terrorist acts against the Russian Federation using unmanned boats were prepared," the Russian army said.

"All planned targets in the strikes were destroyed."

Odesa has been bombed several times since the start of the invasion, and in January the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO designated the historic centre of the city as a World Heritage in Danger site.

The city has come under repeated attack since Moscow pulled out of a grain export deal last week.

Ukraine has accused Russia of targeting grain supplies and infrastructure vital to the Black Sea deal.

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