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Frontline report: Ukraine responds to Russia’s attack on Odesa port by hitting huge ammunition depot in Crimea

One of the explosions at Russian ammunition depots. Screenshot
Frontline report: Ukraine responds to Russia’s attack on Odesa port by hitting huge ammunition depot in Crimea

Ukrainian and Russian forces made a series of massive missile exchanges in the south. Russia targeted mainly Odesa port infrastructure, destroying the grain terminal. Ukraine destroyed a huge military base in Crimea with secondary detonations of ammunition continuing throughout the day. Smaller targets along the frontline were also hit.

After a successful strike on the Kerch Bridge, President Putin declared that he was already discussing with the high command possible options for retaliation. The Ukrainian Command understood that this meant only one thing – a massive drone and missile strike. The only question was what would be the main target.

Russian strikes

The main target of the Russian strike was the harbor in Odesa. At first, Russian Air Force launched several waves of drones to exhaust the Ukrainian air defense. This tactic worked according to the footage of the successful interception of drones above Odesa by the Ukrainian air defense. After that, Russians flooded the air space with rockets, almost all of which headed towards Odesa. Residents in Crimea filmed the moments of the launch of 16 Caliber cruise missiles from Kozacha Bay in Sevastopol. On top of that, it was reported that at least 8 strategic bombers Tu-22 launched 15 missiles of various types.

The greatest devastation was faced by the harbor in Odesa. The strike aimed to destroy all the infrastructure necessary for loading cargo and also grain terminals. Grain terminals took the largest hit because this was a symbolic withdrawal from the grain deal. It was reported that Russian missiles also destroyed 60 thousand tons of grain apart from rendering the whole harbor unusable. Later the Russian Ministry of Defense gave a statement and declared that the grain deal was officially over, and any ships passing through the region would be considered military targets, and the countries of the flags of these ships would be considered enemy states that entered the war.

Damaged infrastructure facilities in Odesa. Credit: Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine

Besides the main harbor in Odesa City, Russians also made sure to target secondary harbors in the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that several industrial objects were hit. Judging by the footage, one was an oil depot, and another one a small ammunition depot. Unfortunately, some missiles hit the residential areas, including a shopping mall in Odesa.

Ukrainian response

Ukrainian forces responded reciprocally. The first target of the Ukrainian strike became Melitopol. Residents reported hearing at least 5 explosions somewhere on the city’s outskirts. Ukrainian Melitopol Mayor confirmed that Ukrainians struck Russian military bases. Immediately after that, explosions were reported in Mykhailivka, a prefrontal stronghold west of Tokmak. Several hours ago, Ukrainians also hit the Russian base in Skadovsk on the Black Sea coast. All three strikes were reportedly conducted by HIMARS and primarily targeted areas of personnel concentrations.

Ukrainians also conducted several HIMARS strikes in the east. Residents of Yasynuvata reported hearing multiple explosions followed by secondary detonations. Later it was confirmed that Ukrainians successfully struck an ammunition depot. The second package of HIMARS rockets targeted Russian military objects in Donetsk. Geolocated footage shows an explosion on the Russian military site on the city’s outskirts.

But the most devastating strike was conducted in Crimea. Here, Russian forces had a huge military site that was even bigger than some of the villages around it. The site was also located on one of the main supply roads. Russian sources reported that Ukrainians struck the Russian base with 3 ballistic missiles Hrim-2. The missiles hit the ammunition depot, which caused a massive explosion that could be heard more than 30 km away. The secondary detonations continued throughout the day, which did not allow the fire to be put out. Due to the sheer scale of the fire, local authorities had to close the highway and start evacuating residents from the nearby villages.

It was reported that at least 5 villages were considered to be in the dangerous zone. The fate of Russian soldiers on the base is unknown.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what’s happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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