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A missile destroys the Odessa Cathedral

Ukraine vowed on Sunday to retaliate for the latest Russian attack on the port city of Odessa, which killed two people yesterday, injured 22 civilians and severely damaged the Orthodox cathedral. With this there are now four bombings ordered by Moscow against the city since the beginning of last week the Ukrainians attacked the bridge that links Crimea and Russia. In response, the Kremlin then opted to break the agreement on grain trade and has dedicated itself to systematically destroying the warehouses where this grain is deposited.

As reported by the kyiv Executive, the Russian artillerymen launched nineteen missiles by land, sea and air; one of the most furious attacks carried out against Odessa, in which the Black Sea Fleet participates with Kalibr missiles. Nine shells were intercepted by anti-aircraft defenses, but the rest hit the city. Apart from the temple, the explosions affected several residential buildings “Missiles against peaceful cities, against homes, against a cathedral,” President Volodimir Zelenski cried immediately after on social networks, before guaranteeing that “there will be reprisals against Russian terrorists for what happened in Odessa.”

A rocket landed in the middle of a residential area of ​​the port city.


A missile destroys the Odessa Cathedral

The kyiv authorities denounced the continued destruction of historical assets in the country since the beginning of the war. The Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration was built in the 18th century in the center of Odessa. It was demolished in 1936 during the Stalin regime and reopened in 1990 after almost complete reconstruction. It is under the protection of Unesco.

“There was a direct attack on the cathedral and three altars were completely damaged,” explained Father Miroslav, deputy rector of the temple. A missile fell on the roof and blew through at least three walls of the cathedral. According to Miroslav, it is “badly damaged inside” and “only the bell tower remained intact.” The priests managed to rescue the icons from the church despite the abundance of rubble.

The Kiev government stressed that the attack is a “war crime” and highlighted that the cathedral “has been destroyed twice, by Stalin and by Putin.” For its part, UNESCO condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the “brutal bombings” and stated that they represent “a new escalation of violence against Ukraine’s cultural heritage,” said Audrey Azoulay, director general of the agency.

Damage inside the temple.


A missile destroys the Odessa Cathedral

Archbishop Viktor, rector of the diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, also sent a letter to Russian Patriarch Kirill in which he asked to “stop the bloodshed.” Finally, the head of European Union diplomacy, Josep Borrell, spoke in similar terms when pointing out that “the constant terror of Russian missiles on Odessa, under the protection of Unesco, constitutes another new war crime of the Kremlin, which has also demolished the main Orthodox cathedral, a place that is a world heritage site”.

Kremlin rejection

But while all eyes were focused on the Russian artillery, his government yesterday denied that a Russian rocket hit the temple and assured that it was a stray projectile from Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defenses. “The information is not true,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that its gunners focused on destroying “positions of Ukrainian forces and foreign specialists who were preparing terrorist operations against the Russian Federation.” Moscow blamed “the illiterate actions of (Ukrainian) air defense officials, who always deliberately put themselves in the middle of residential areas.”

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