Ukraine says the Russian military launched multiple missiles, including hypersonic missiles, against the port city of Odessa, in an attempt to cut off the supply lines of Western weapons.
Fighting between Russia and Ukraine in the 76th day of hostilities has mainly taken place with long-range missile strikes on logistically important targets.
Ukraine’s military says Russian forces fired 7 missiles at Odessa, Ukraine’s largest port in the south, on the night of May 9, killing one person and injuring five others. Three Kinzhal hypersonic missiles then destroyed a hotel in the village of Zatoka near Odessa.
The missile raids occurred just hours after European Council President Charles Michel’s visit to the city. EU officials have warned that supplies of wheat and cereals vital for export have been stuck in the port of Odessa because of the conflict.
“This much-needed food gets stuck due to the Russian campaign and the blockade of seaports in the Black Sea with dire consequences for vulnerable countries. We need a global response,” he said. .
The barrage of missile attacks on Odessa is seen as Russia’s attempt to cut off Western supply routes of goods and weapons to Ukraine’s defense forces.
However, the Ukrainian army still maintained its ability to resist, as demonstrated by the determination of more than 1,000 soldiers to entrench themselves in the Azovstal steel plant in Russia. Mariupol, the southern port city. The factory is the last bastion of Ukrainian forces in the city of Mariupol, which has been under constant Russian fire since the military operation began on February 24.
However, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk warned that the situation at the Azovstal plant was worsening every day, with hundreds of people injured, including those in urgent need of evacuation.
The Azov Battalion said Russian forces had bombarded the Azovstal steel plant 34 times in the past 24 hours. Many civilians have been evacuated from the factory in recent days, as Russia ramps up its efforts to take full control of the city to create a land corridor connecting the east to the Crimean peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014. .
Russia has stepped up its campaign in eastern Ukraine after withdrawing its troops from Kiev and the northern region, leading to fierce fighting. Ukrainian officials say “the epicenter of the fighting” has moved to Bilogorivka in the Lugansk region.
Governor Lugansk Serhiy Gaidai said the area was attacked 22 times in the past 24 hours. The shelling continued on the eastern strongholds, including the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.
Ukrainian forces are also resisting the Russians strongly in Kharkov, in the northeast, and most fiercely in the region. Donetsk, where Russian soldiers are trying to advance towards the town of Lyman. The Ukrainian army attempted a counter-attack to retake several villages in the area.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine released a combat report today, saying that the Ukrainian forces repelled 15 Russian attacks in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
The Ukrainian side claimed to have destroyed an anti-aircraft missile system, nine tanks, three artillery systems, 25 armored vehicles, three special engineering equipment and three vehicles in yesterday’s skirmishes.
Meanwhile, the Russian military said it has destroyed a total of 2,979 Ukrainian tanks, armored vehicles and many other military targets since the opening of a military operation in the country on February 24.
While fighting heats up in the east, the situation in the capital Kiev is returning to normal. The Greek and German foreign ministries said today they will reopen their embassies in Kiev. Before that, many other countries such as the UK, France, the US, Spain, Italy, Sweden and South Korea also made similar moves.
After more than two months of conflict, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says more than 8 million Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes and evacuated to other parts of the country. More than 5.9 million Ukrainians have had to leave the country to seek asylum.
US intelligence director Avril Haines on May 10 commented that President Vladimir Putin would not end the campaign in Donbass anytime soon, but wanted to create a connecting corridor with the breakaway Transnistria region in Moldova.
US intelligence officials also believe that the conflict in Ukraine could become “more unpredictable and escalatory” in the coming months. At the same time, they also said that the future of negotiations between the two countries is very uncertain.
“As both Russia and Ukraine believe they can continue to make progress militarily, we don’t see a viable negotiating path forward, at least in the short term,” Haines said. .
Thanh Tam (According to CNN, TASS, Reuters, AFP)
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