Aftermath of a Russian drone attack in Odesa region Aftermath of a Russian drone attack in Odesa region 

Merchant ship leaves for Black Sea as Ukraine-Russia battles rage

Ukraine says its forces have entrenched themselves on the outskirts of Urozhaine after recapturing the settlement in the Donetsk region of Russian troops. The announcement came as a merchant ship left the Ukrainian port of Odesa, despite concerns Russia could target vessels in the Black Sea and attacks that reportedly killed several people.

By Stefan J. Bos

Ukraine's deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, announced on social media that Ukrainian troops managed to, in her words, "liberate" the village of Urozhaine in the Donetsk region.

But she added that offensive operations continue as part of a counteroffensive against invading Russian forces.

Earlier Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky visited the south-eastern region of Zaporizhzhia and met troops fighting in the counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Listen to Stefan Bos' report

Yet Kyiv faces an uphill battle as Russian attacks continue. Ukrainian authorities said three people were killed and several were wounded, and buildings were damaged in a large-scale air attack on Ukraine's western region of Lviv and the north-western region of Volyn.

Lviv Mayor Andriy Safovyi said, "Many missiles were shot down," but he admitted there were also hits in his city. He added that orders were given to evacuate at least one burning apartment building.

The barrage came just hours before top Russian military officials, and their counterparts from allied countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa gathered outside Moscow for a security conference.

On Wednesday, Ukraine's air force said a large group of Russian army drones entered the mouth of the Danube River and headed toward the Izmail river port near the border with Romania, a member of the Western NATO military alliance.

Residents in shelter

The governor of the southern Odesa region, Oleh Kiper, asked residents of the Izmail district to take shelter but canceled the air raid alert one hour later.

But despite ongoing Russian attacks against ports, a merchant ship left the Ukrainian port of Odesa on Wednesday despite concerns Russia could target vessels in the Black Sea.

Kyiv has announced a "humanitarian corridor" in the Black Sea after a deal collapsed last month, allowing it to export.

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16 August 2023, 16:50