A cargo ship in the Ukrainian port of Odesa was hit by a Russian missile, resulting in the death of the pilot and injuries to four others, according to Ukrainian officials. The missile was launched from a Russian tactical aircraft in the Black Sea. The ship, flying the flag of Liberia, was struck as it entered the port.
The incident is part of a pattern of Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports since withdrawing from a UN-brokered grain deal earlier this year. Ukraine established its own humanitarian corridor to bypass the Russian blockade. The ship was intended to transport iron ore to China, highlighting Ukraine’s role as a major grain exporter.
The infrastructure minister expressed concern over the damage caused by Russian strikes since the grain deal lapsed. This attack marks the 21st assault on Black Sea ports in the Odesa region. Ukraine is taking measures to strengthen air defense and protect the southern region. An investigation has been launched.
Russia’s invasion led to a blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, halting crop exports. The blockade was lifted temporarily but eventually resumed. The Russian defense ministry warned that ships sailing to Ukrainian ports would be treated as potential carriers of military cargo.
The United Nations raised concerns about global food security. Ukraine condemned Russia’s actions, accusing it of violating international obligations and using food as a weapon. Ukraine is seeking alternative routes to export grain. The head of the Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies, called the strike an act of piracy. Russian authorities have not commented on the incident.