A string of explosions rocked Ukraine’s southern city of Odesa on Saturday, hitting one of the country’s most important ports less than 24 hours after a deal was signed to secure the transit of millions of tons of grain through Black Sea routes.
The strikes risk undermining the deal to facilitate the shipping of Ukrainian grain, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, before the agreement could even be put into action. The deal was seen as critical for shoring up global supplies after a steep drop in Ukrainian grain exports raised fears of food shortages in poorer nations.
Ukraine’s southern military command said on Saturday that Russian forces had fired four Kalibr cruise missiles at Odesa. “Two rockets were shot down by air defense forces, two hit port infrastructure facilities,” it wrote in a statement posted on its Facebook page.