KYIV, Ukraine: Russia targeted Ukraine’s Black Sea regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv with air strikes Tuesday, hitting private buildings and port infrastructure along the country’s southern coast. the Ukrainian military said.
The Kremlin’s forces used air-launched missiles in the attack, Ukraine’s Operational Command South said in a Facebook post.
In the Odesa region, a number of private buildings in villages on the coast were hit and caught fire, the report said. In the Mykolaiv region, port infrastructure was targeted.
Hours after the renewed strikes on the south, a Moscow-installed official in the southern Kherson region said the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions will soon be “liberated” by the Russian forces, just like the Kherson region further east.
“The Kherson region and the city of Kherson have been liberated forever,” Kirill Stremousov was quoted as saying by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.
The developments came as Ukraine appeared to be preparing a counteroffensive in the south.
Russia previously attacked Odesa’s port at the weekend. The British military said Tuesday there was no indication that a Ukrainian warship and a stockpile of anti-ship missiles were at the site, as Moscow claimed.
The British Defense Ministry said Russia sees Ukraine’s use of anti-ship missiles as “a key threat” that is limiting its Black Sea Fleet.
“This has significantly undermined the overall invasion plan, as Russia cannot realistically attempt an amphibious assault to seize Odesa,” the military said. “Russia will continue to prioritize efforts to degrade and destroy Ukraine’s anti-ship capability.”
It added that “Russia’s targeting processes are highly likely routinely undermined by dated intelligence, poor planning, and a top-down approach to operations.”