UPDATE - Ukraine says critical infrastructure damaged by Russian air strikes in Odesa, Zhytomyr regions

UPDATE - Ukraine says critical infrastructure damaged by Russian air strikes in Odesa, Zhytomyr regions

Ukrainian president instructs military to strengthen protection of people, port infrastructure following Russian missile strikes

UPDATES WITH STATEMENTS FROM UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS; REVISES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE

ANKARA/ISTANBUL (AA) - Ukraine on Wednesday said that critical infrastructure in the country's Odesa and Zhytomyr region was by Russian air strikes.

"At night, the enraged enemy struck the south of Ukraine with a powerful accumulation of missiles and kamikaze drones ... In the Odesa region, an industrial facility was hit, where a civilian employee was injured, and two warehouses in different locations were hit - with tobacco and fireworks," Ukraine's Operational Command South said in a statement on Facebook.

The statement said that Ukrainian air defenses intercepted 12 of 12 Kalibr missiles fired from the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014, and claimed that multiple missiles, including Oniks and Kh-22s, targeted the port and critical infrastructure in Odesa, hitting a grain and oil terminal, while also damaging reservoirs and loading equipment.

It further said that eight Shahed-136 type drones were shot down over the Odesa region, while two more drones were downed over the Mykolaiv region, adding several apartment buildings were damaged in the residential complexes of Odesa due to the defensive measures taken.

The Odesa City Hall said on Telegram that 10 people sought medical help due to the strikes.

Separately, Zhytomyr Governor Vitaliy Bunechko said on Telegram that Russia attacked the region with “kamikaze” drones.

"According to preliminary information, an infrastructural object was damaged as a result of the strike by 'Shaheds,' and there is damage to private households," Bunechko further said, adding all emergency services are working and that there is no information about the presence of victims.

Meanwhile, Kyiv Governor Ruslan Kravchenko said drones were detected in the region and air alerts were announced several times.

"No hits were recorded, there were no casualties. According to preliminary information, there is also no fall of debris. Operational groups continue to work to identify possible damage," Kravchenko further said, according to a statement by the Kyiv Regional Military Administration on Telegram.

Following the strikes, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: "I have instructed the military to strengthen the protection of people and port infrastructure, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intensify contacts with partners to increase pressure on the terrorist state and continue normal exports of Ukrainian grain."

Zelenskyy further said that he heard reports about the strikes on the Odesa and Zhytomyr regions, as well as other regions.

"Russian terrorists quite deliberately targeted the infrastructure of the grain deal, and every Russian missile is a strike not only against Ukraine, but also against everyone in the world who wants a normal and safe life," he further said.

Meanwhile, Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, claimed that Russia's strikes in Odesa prove Moscow wants famine in the Global South.

"They want to create a refugee crisis in the West. Everything is being done to weaken allies and politically interfere in the internal affairs of these countries," Yermak argued.

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