The Russian military announced a raid on a series of warehouses and installations of UAVs used by Ukraine in “terrorist attacks.”
“The Russian armed forces attacked the evening of July 21 with a long-range guided missile launched from a warship. The targets were facilities for preparing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used in terrorist attacks on Russian territory. The targets were all hit,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
Images released by the Russian military show a Russian warship launching at least five Kalibr long-range cruise missiles over the Black Sea. It is not clear if any warships or other forces participated in the night raid on July 21.
Oleh Kiper, governor of Odesa province in southern Ukraine, said that the grain warehouse of an agricultural corporation was destroyed, damaging hundreds of tons of beans and barley. “The enemy also launched seven missiles against important infrastructure in the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district,” he said, adding that Russia’s Kalibr shells often fly close to the sea to penetrate Ukrainian air defenses.
Viacheslav Chaus, governor of Chernihiv province in northern Ukraine, announced that a woman was killed in a rocket attack on the same day.
The city of Odessa, the capital of the province of the same name, has been hit by air strikes for the past four days. The move comes after the Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch Bridge, was damaged in a series of explosions on July 17, killing at least two people and seriously injuring one. Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out a “terrorist attack” on the Crimean Bridge and vowed to respond appropriately.
The city of Odesa is part of Ukraine’s most important commercial lifeline because its ports and the port system along the Black Sea were important gateways for the export of 70% of the country’s agricultural products before the war. Since Russia launched its campaign in Ukraine, this has always been considered one of Moscow’s most important goals.
Odesa is located on the Black Sea coast, very close to cities controlled by Russian forces in southern Ukraine. If Russian forces broke through the lines in Mykolaiv and entered Odesa, linking up with the breakaway Transnistria region in Moldova, they would completely blockade southern Ukraine while creating a strategic springboard to attack the north and west of the country.