Ukraine downed three waves of Russian missiles and drones targeting Odesa, its army said early on Monday, the latest in a string of attacks in the southern region on the Black Sea coast.
“The enemy attacked Odesa region three times during the night, using two waves of attack drones, a total of 15, and eight Kalibr-type sea-based missiles,” the Operational Command South wrote on Telegram.
Air defence forces repelled all the attacks, but falling debris damaged a student dormitory and a supermarket in Odesa’s city centre, leaving three workers wounded, the army said.
“The blast wave damaged windows and balconies in several buildings, and damaged cars parked nearby”, it said, adding that firefighters were battling two blazes.
Photos and videos shared by the army on Telegram showed firefighters trying to extinguish flames engulfing a multi-storey supermarket, with a large plume of smoke rising into the air.
Russia and Ukraine have stepped up attacks in the Black Sea since Moscow exited a deal last month that had granted KIEV’s grain exports safe passage during the conflict.
Since withdrawing from the agreement, Moscow has pounded ports in the Odesa region that were key for Ukrainian grain exports under the deal.
The overnight missile and drone attacks come a day after Moscow said warning shots were fired from a Russian warship at a cargo vessel heading towards Izmail, a city on the Danube river in Odesa.
The Russian ship spotted the Sukru Okan cargo vessel sailing under the flag of Palau and fired the shots after its captain did not respond to demands to stop.
After inspection, the cargo ship was allowed to continue its journey.
On August 2, Russia struck port infrastructure in Izmail, one of the main export routes for Ukrainian agricultural products to neighbouring Romania.