Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Odessa Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Odessa 

Ukraine: 21 people die in Russian missile strike in Odesa

Ukraine’s President has condemned Russian missile attacks near the port of Odesa that authorities said killed at least 21 people.

By Stefan J. Bos 

Zelensky said Friday’s attacks on the Serhiivka settlement near Odesa port were “conscious, deliberately targeted Russian terror.”

He said that “work to clear the rubble is ongoing” after “three missiles hit a typical residential building.”  Among the dead was a 12-year-old boy. His name was Dmytro. To date, the list of victims is 21, and there are 40 injured,” Zelensky said. 

The latest attacks sound Odesa happened after Russia retreated from Snake Island in the western Black Sea. Moscow claimed it was a goodwill gesture, allowing Ukraine to export agricultural products. 

But Ukrainian and British defense officials suggested that Russia withdrew from Snake Island due to the isolation of the garrison and a barrage of Ukrainian strikes. 

Eastern battles

However, fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow attempts to capture the entire Donbas area, Ukraine’s industrial heartland. 

As fighting intensified, Britain expressed concern that two more Britons held by Russian proxies could face the death penalty after being charged with fighting as mercenaries. Britons Andrew Hill and Dylan Healy were reportedly charged with “forcible seizure of power” and undergoing “terrorist” training. 

Healy, a chef volunteering as an aid worker, had been captured at a checkpoint in April. On the same day, Russia released a video of Andrew Hill in military uniform, saying he had surrendered.

It comes after two other British men, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, were sentenced to death last month on similar charges.

The European Court of Human Rights has since intervened to demand the sentence is not carried out. But Russia has rejected the call, saying it no longer implements the Strasbourg court's decisions. It claims the fate of the men is a matter for the pro-Russian, breakaway Donetsk People's Republic, which is not internationally recognized.

Britain has condemned “the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes,” perhaps ahead of future ceasefire talks. 

Food shortages 

That war has had global implications amid mounting food shortages. 

Moscow said a merchant ship with 7,000 tons of grain left the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Berdyansk with deliveries for what it called “friendly nations.”

Kyiv and others accused Moscow of using food as a weapon in war. As concerns about hunger mount, Indonesia's president ended a trip to Ukraine and Russia, saying he hoped “for progress in reintegrating global food and fertilizer supply lines disrupted” by the conflict. 

President Joko Widodo, the Group of 20 president this year, also offered to be a diplomatic bridge between the two nations.

He said he had conveyed a message from Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to Russian leader Vladimir Putin but gave no details. 

Yet, with battles raging, there are no signs the more than four-months war will end soon.

Listen to the report by Stefan Bos
02 July 2022, 17:05