Explosions Hit Odesa As Zelensky Meets Greek PM

Odesa

In the early hours of Wednesday, a Russian missile exploded in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, mere hundreds of feet away from where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was in a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, sources and officials reported.

Sources close to the scene described the incident, saying, "It hit in a couple of hundred meters (about 300 feet) from us while the meeting was going on," highlighting the gravity of the situation.

This event marked an unprecedented close call for Zelenskyy, excluding his visits to the front lines, as the missile detonated perilously close to their meeting location.

Zelenskyy and Mitsotakis had toured the port area earlier, returning to their vehicle when the air raid siren sounded, preceding the missile strike that struck the port shortly after.

However, sources suggest that Zelenskyy might not have been the intended target, as Russian missiles typically target predetermined locations.

Responding to the attack, a Ukrainian spokesperson for the joint press centre of the Ukrainian Southern Defense Forces emphasized the systematic terror orchestrated by the enemy, distancing the strike from any specific visit.

Despite the attack, neither leader sustained any harm during the incident, which prompted concerns over the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

In a subsequent statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to have targeted a hangar in the Odesa port housing unmanned boats of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

While the Biden administration suggested that Zelenskyy may not have been the primary target, they condemned the attack as a dangerous and reckless act, highlighting the urgent need for Ukraine's defence.

Tragically, the strike resulted in the loss of at least five lives, according to a Ukrainian Navy spokesman, underscoring the devastating impact of the ongoing conflict.

Explosions Hit Odesa As Zelensky Meets Greek PM—

Addressing the media during a joint press conference, Zelenskyy lamented the day's events, highlighting the indiscriminate nature of the attack and the human toll it exacted.

Warning or coincidence

It remains to be resolved whether the Russian attack was deliberate, as a warning from an increasingly growing Kremlin in the face of the evolution of the war, or whether it was a coincidence. In the past, figures linked to the Kremlin, such as Maria Zakharova, have boasted of being able to attack Western politicians during their visits to Ukraine if the Russian military commanders so desired. "Both options are viable, it is difficult to know," considers Carmen Claudín , senior associate researcher at the Barcelona Center for Foreign Affairs CIDOB . This expert recalled that there are communication channels between both armies to avoid similar incidents during prisoner exchanges or other events, which makes it "difficult" to think that it was spontaneous.

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