Russian forces have bombarded Ukraine’s port city of Odesa with missiles and drones.
Four missiles and 22 attack drones were launched from the occupied region of Crimea of Ukraine at the Black Sea port late on Sunday, Ukraine’s air force reported on Monday.
The attacks injured at least eight people, destroyed grain, and damaged the 124-year-old Odesa Fine Arts Museum.
“Fifteen Shaheds and one Kh-59 air guided missile were shot down,” the Ukrainian air force said, referring to the Iranian-designed kamikaze unmanned aerial vehicle.
Ukrainian Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak posted images on social media of the aftermath of the strike, vowing retribution for the attack.
“This is their despicable answer to the reality – the Ukrainian Crimea will be demilitarised, without the Black Sea fleet and military bases of the Russians,” he said.
Ukraine has recently ramped up strikes on the Russian naval base at Sevastopol. Meanwhile, Russian air attacks have intensified in recent weeks, with infrastructure a particular target ahead of the winter.
Odesa, Ukraine’s main grain port, has also been targeted since earlier in the year when Moscow pulled out of a deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said 20 residential buildings, the Odesa Fine Arts Museum and infrastructure facilities were damaged. A warehouse and trucks with grain caught fire, which was promptly extinguished.
The museum, where walls and windows were damaged, housed before the war more than 10,000 pieces of art, including paintings by some of the best-known Russian and Ukrainian artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“On November 6, the Odesa National Art Museum turns 124 years old,” Oleh Kiper, governor of the Odesa region, of which the Odesa city is the administrative centre, said on the Telegram messaging app.
“On the eve of November 6, the Russians ‘congratulated’ our architectural monument with a missile that hit nearby.”
Eight people were injured during the attack.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his request for Western support ahead of the harsh winter months, and for air defence systems especially, in a televised interview with US network NBC News on Sunday.