Russian Strike on Odesa Comes as Zelensky and Greek Leader Were There

A Russian strike on the Ukrainian city of Odesa on Wednesday occurred while President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece were visiting the strategic port city.

Neither was hurt, and they appeared to have continued their visit. It is unclear whether the Russian Army specifically targeted them or how close they were to the explosion.

Mr. Mitsotakis told reporters in Odesa that he and Mr. Zelensky were visiting a port at the time of the assault. “We heard the sound of sirens and explosions that were very close to us,” he said, according to Sulspine, a public broadcaster. “We didn’t have time to go to a shelter.”

Mr. Zelensky said the attack had left “dead and wounded,” but he did not elaborate.

Dmytro Pletenchuck, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Navy, said that Russia had struck port infrastructure in the city and that five people had been killed.

Oleksiy Goncharenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker who was in Odesa at the time of the attack, said it occurred around 10:40 a.m. local time. “I heard explosions, I was very close to the port,” he said in a text message. “It was very loud.”

It was not immediately clear what weapons Russia used, but Ukraine’s Air Force reported the possible deployment of ballistic missiles.

Russia said its army had launched around 10:40 a.m. local time “a high-precision missile strike on a hangar in the industrial port area of Odesa were preparations were being made for the combat use of unmanned boats of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

Odesa, home to a vast port infrastructure vital to Ukraine’s Black Sea exports, has been regularly targeted by Russia over the past six months. Last week, a drone hit a residential building, killing 12 civilians. It took rescue workers several days to pull the bodies from the rubble, including those of a baby and two children.

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Mitsotakis visited the site of last week’s attack on Wednesday to pay tribute to the victims, and went to a cathedral badly damaged by a previous Russian missile strike.

Mr. Zelensky said in a video on social media that he discussed air defense capabilities with Mr. Mitsotakis in Odesa. “Weapons are needed here to save people’s lives,” he said. “Decisions are needed now — not sometime in the future — for the people who endure terrorist attacks everyday and every night.”

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