Can’t Rule Out Russia Targeted Zelensky, Greek PM: Ukrainian Official

Thu Mar 07 2024
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KYIV: A top Ukrainian presidential adviser has raised concerns that a Russian missile strike on the Odessa port may have targeted the delegations of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The incident occurred while the leaders were inspecting the Ukrainian grain export corridor in the Black Sea port, with the missile hitting port infrastructure mere meters away from them.

In an interview with CNN Live, Ihor Zhovkva, a top diplomatic adviser, expressed apprehension over the nature of the attack, suggesting that it could have been directed at the delegations of Zelensky or the foreign guest. Both leaders confirmed witnessing the strike during a press conference on Wednesday, which resulted in the tragic loss of five lives, according to the Ukrainian military.

The Russian defense ministry, however, claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that its troops targeted a hangar housing Ukrainian naval drones in the port, declaring the mission as accomplished.

The Odessa port has been repeatedly targeted by Russian attacks, particularly since mid-July when Moscow terminated a UN-brokered deal allowing safe passage of Ukrainian grain and Kyiv established its own export corridor. Zhovkva emphasized that the missile was launched from Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, and reached its target in less than three minutes.

Zhovkva lamented the lack of adequate air defense measures, suggesting that with sufficient resources, the ballistic missile could have been intercepted before causing destruction.

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