Russian forces carried out an attack in the port city of Odessa on Sunday, killing two people and injuring 22, including four children, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry. For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin received his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in St. Petersburg for the first time since the failure of the Wagner Group rebellion.
Russia carried out an attack on the port city of Odessa on the night of Saturday to Sunday, which has killed at least two people, as well as the “destruction” of an Orthodox cathedral declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In its latest report, the Ministry of the Interior of Ukraine announced a balance of two dead and 22 injured, including four children, caused by the firing of 19 Russian missiles on this city on the Black Sea.
“The Transfiguration Cathedral, located in the historic center of Odessa, protected by UNESCO, has been destroyed. A war crime that will never be forgotten or forgiven,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, President Volodimir Zelensky has promised “retaliation against Russian terrorists” for the Odessa attack. “Missiles against peaceful cities, against residential buildings, a cathedral… There can be no excuse for Russian evil. As always, this evil will lose,” stressed the Ukrainian president.
From Kiev they consider that the Russian attacks against Odessa seek to “completely isolate Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea,” according to the head of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksi Danilov.
Moscow, for its part, claimed to have destroyed all the objectives it had in the Ukrainian port of Odessa and assured that the places hit were used to prepare “terrorist acts”. Russian Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov said there were foreign mercenaries and aquatic drones at the site.
In addition, Russian forces used cluster bombs in an attack on the town of Chasiv Yar, in the Donetsk region, destroying a humanitarian and medical aid center, according to the report by the head of the regional military administration Pavlo Kirilenko.
In his reunion with Lukashenko, Putin assures that the Ukrainian counteroffensive “has failed”
Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko for the first time since the failed rebellion by the Wagner mercenary group, in which Moscow’s close ally Minsk mediated.
A video published by the press service of the Belarusian Presidency showed the two men arriving together at a palace in St. Petersburg, in northwestern Russia, where they are holding bilateral talks, which will last “for a day and a half or two,” according to the Russian president himself.
At that meeting, Putin told Lukashenko that the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive to repel Russian forces from Ukraine “has failed,” according to Russian news agencies.
“There is no counteroffensive,” the Belarusian president first stated, according to the Tass news agency, before being interrupted by Putin, who launched: “There is one but it failed.”
Regarding Wagner’s news, Lukashenko told Putin that he “keeps” the group in central Belarus and guaranteed that he “controls” the situation, a few weeks after the mercenaries arrived in Minsk after their failed rebellion in Russia.
“They ask to ‘go west’ (…) to Warsaw, Rzeszów,” the Belarusian leader initially explained to Putin, who smiled slightly. “But, of course, I keep them in the center of Belarus, as we had agreed,” he added, although he acknowledged having noticed “his bad mood” from him.
With AFP, Reuters and EFE