Russia renews airstrikes on Ukrainian Black Sea regions of Odessa and Mykolaiv

Russia targeted Ukraine’s Black Sea regions of Odessa and Mykolaiv with airstrikes on Tuesday, hitting private buildings and port infrastructure along the country’s southern coast, Ukraine’s military said.

Kremlin forces used air-launched missiles in the attack, Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said in a Facebook post.

In the Odessa region, a number of private buildings in coastal villages were hit and caught fire, according to the report. In the Mykolaiv region, port infrastructure has been targeted.

Hours after strikes resumed in the south, a Moscow-based official in the southern Kherson region said the Odessa and Mykolaiv regions would soon be “liberated” by Russian forces, as would the Kherson region further afield. ballast.

“The Kherson region and the city of Kherson have been liberated forever,” said Kirill Stremousov, quoted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The developments came as Ukraine appeared to be preparing a counter-offensive in the south.

Police stand next to a shell crater in a residential area of ​​Kharkiv, Ukraine on Tuesday. (Vyacheslav Madiyevsky/Reuters)

UK challenges Russian claims on Odessa

Russia previously attacked the port of Odessa over the weekend. The British military said on Tuesday there was no indication that a Ukrainian warship and stockpile of anti-ship missiles were at the site, as claimed by Moscow.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russia views Ukraine’s use of anti-ship missiles as “a key threat” limiting its Black Sea Fleet.

“This significantly undermined the overall invasion plan, as Russia cannot realistically attempt an amphibious assault to capture Odessa,” the military said. “Russia will continue to prioritize efforts to degrade and destroy Ukraine’s anti-ship capability.”

He added that “Russia’s targeting processes are most likely regularly plagued by outdated intelligence, poor planning and a top-down approach to operations.”

3 civilians reportedly killed in shelling

Russian shelling over the past 24 hours has killed at least three civilians and injured eight others in Ukraine, Ukraine’s presidential office said on Tuesday.

In the eastern region of Donetsk, where fighting has been concentrated in recent weeks, shelling has continued along the entire frontline, with the largest towns in the region, including Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Toretsk, being targeted by Russian forces. , according to a press release. .

Donetsk Regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko accused Russian troops of using cluster munitions and reiterated his call for the evacuation of civilians.

“There is no longer a single safe place, everything is bombed,” Kyrylenko said in televised remarks. “But there are still escape routes for the civilian population.”

A cat looks out of the window of a residential building destroyed by a Russian military strike in Kharkiv on Tuesday. (Vyacheslav Madiyevsky/Reuters)

The Institute for the Study of War, based in Washington, DC, reported that the Russians are using mercenaries from the shadowy Wagner Group to capture the Vuhledar thermal power plant on the northern outskirts of the village of Novoluhanske.

But the Russian forces have made “limited gains” there, according to the Ukrainian general staff.

Russia’s main objective was to capture Bakhmut.

“Russian forces have made marginal gains south of Bakhmut but are unlikely to be able to effectively exploit these advances to take full control of Bakhmut itself,” the Institute for study of war.

German minister warns of a long war

Russian forces continued to launch strikes on civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city in the northeast, and the surrounding region.

Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synyehubov said strikes on the city resumed at dawn on Tuesday, damaging a car dealership.

“The Russians deliberately target civilian infrastructure – hospitals, schools, cinemas,” Synyehubov told Ukrainian television. “Everything gets shot, even the queues for humanitarian aid, so we urge people to avoid mass gatherings.”

Rescuers remove debris to find bodies of people at the Central House of Culture following a military strike in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region on Tuesday. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Moscow wanted “the complete subjugation of Ukraine and its people”.

“We must be prepared that this war – which Russia is waging with absolute brutality and in a way no one else would – will last for months,” Baerbock said during a visit to Prague.