Russia hits Odesa with rocket launch, Zelenskyy warns of global food crisis during port city blockade

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Russian bombing struck Odesa on Tuesday, hitting the Ukrainian port city with seven missiles as it accelerates its campaign in the south.

At least one person was killed and five were injured after Russian missiles targeted a supermarket, Reuters reported.

A Ukrainian firefighter works near a destroyed building on the outskirts of Odesa, Ukraine on Tuesday 10 May 2022. The Ukrainian military said Russian forces fired seven missiles a day earlier from the air into the crucial Odesa seaport. Black hitting a downtown shop and warehouse.

A Ukrainian firefighter works near a destroyed building on the outskirts of Odesa, Ukraine on Tuesday 10 May 2022. The Ukrainian military said Russian forces fired seven missiles a day earlier from the air into the crucial Odesa seaport. Black hitting a downtown shop and warehouse.
(AP Photo / Max Pshybyshevsky)

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Details of the attack are limited, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the continued blockade of the strategic port city could have global implications.

“For the first time in decades, there is no habitual movement of the merchant fleet, no normal functioning port in Odesa. This has probably never happened in Odesa since World War II,” Zelenskyy said in a speech on Monday.

“Without our agricultural exports, dozens of countries in different parts of the world are already on the verge of food shortages. And over time, the situation can become downright dire,” he continued. “This is a direct consequence of Russian aggression, which can only be won together – by all Europeans, by all the free world. It can be overcome by putting pressure on Russia, effectively forcing Russia to stop this shameful war.”

People stand near a destroyed building on the outskirts of Odesa, Ukraine on Tuesday 10 May 2022. The Ukrainian army said Russian forces fired seven missiles a day earlier from the air into the crucial Black Sea port of Odesa. hitting a mall and warehouse.

People stand near a destroyed building on the outskirts of Odesa, Ukraine on Tuesday 10 May 2022. The Ukrainian army said Russian forces fired seven missiles a day earlier from the air into the crucial Black Sea port of Odesa. hitting a mall and warehouse.
(AP Photo / Max Pshybyshevsky)

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Russia has ramped up its aggression against the port city in recent weeks after Russia said it would set its sights on eastern and southern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s defense ministry said on Tuesday that Russia is relying on ships in the Black Sea to support units along coastal regions and block civilian transport.

The ministry also warned that fleets are taking a more direct role by helping to “isolate combat areas, conduct reconnaissance, launch missile attacks on important civilian and military infrastructure objects.”

An operational update states that most of the Russian aggression in Ukraine is still concentrated in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Women stand next to a car as smoke rises into the background air after the bombing in Odesa, Ukraine on Sunday, April 3, 2022.
(AP)

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“The Russian enemy does not stop conducting offensive operations in the eastern operational zone in order to establish full control over the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and maintain the land corridor between these territories and occupied Crimea,” the ministry said. “Artillery continues to be used along almost the entire line of contact.”

Reports emerged on Tuesday suggesting that the Ukrainian military has been able to make some progress in the north-east and that the troops have been able to push back Russian forces from the occupied areas in Kharkiv.