Russia has launched cruise missile attacks on Ukraine’s main port of Odessa – through which grain shipments would take place, barely 12 hours after Moscow signed a deal with Ukraine to allow monitored grain exports from Ukraine’s southern ports. “The enemy has attacked the sea trading port of Odessa with Kalibr cruise missiles,” Ukraine’s Operations Command South wrote on Telegram, raising doubts about the viability of the deal, which was supposed to release 20 million tons of grain to stave off famine in large parts of the developing world .
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that the strikes in Odessa showed that Moscow could not keep its promises. “This only proves one thing: no matter what Russia says and promises, it will find ways not to implement it,” he said at a meeting with U.S. lawmakers, according to a presidency statement.
The US Secretary of State condemned the Russian attack on Odessa and accused Russia of aggravating global food shortages. In a statement posted to Twitter, Antony Blinken said: “The United States strongly condemns Russia’s attack on the port of Odessa today. It undermines efforts to bring food to the hungry and the credibility of Russia’s commitments to the deal signed yesterday to allow Ukrainian exports.”
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has urged citizens in Enerhodar, a key area occupied by Russia, to disclose where Russian troops are living and who among the local population is collaborating with the occupying authorities. “Please tell us urgently the exact location of the bases of the occupying forces and their residential addresses … as well as the residences of the command staff,” it said on Saturday. Exact coordinates are desirable.
The governor of Zaporizhia said Russia is holding 170 people in Zaporizhia Oblast. reports the Kyiv Independent. According to Governor Oleksandr Starukh, since February 24 – the day Russian forces invaded Ukraine – Russian forces have kidnapped at least 415 people in the southern region and at least 170 people remain in captivity.
According to UNHCR, 3.7 million Ukrainian refugees have been granted temporary protection status in the European Union. In a new report released on Friday, UNHCR cites that 3.7 million Ukrainians have registered for temporary protection or similar national protection schemes in Europe.
Video footage has emerged of a massive explosion held on Saturday in Russian-held Horlivka Oblast in Donetsk Oblast, Euromaidan reports. According to media reports, Ukrainian forces have attacked a Russian ammunition depot.
The former deputy secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine is suspected of high treason, the Kyiv Independent reports reports. Volodymyr Sivkovych is suspected of collaborating with Russian intelligence agencies and directing a network of agents in Ukraine who spied on behalf of Russia, according to a report released by Ukraine’s State Investigative Bureau on Saturday.
Germany has delayed arms deliveries to Ukraine, according to the Kyiv Independent reports. The channel, which sourced German media organization German Welt, reported that anonymous Ukrainian officials had reported that Ukraine’s application for 11 IRIS-T missile defense systems is currently being held up by Germany’s Federal Security Council.
Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has called for US-Russia peace talks to end the war in Ukraine and has criticized the European Union’s strategy in the conflict. In a speech on Saturday in Romania, the 59-year-old right-wing extremist also defended his vision of a “pure Hungarian race” as he criticized mixing with “non-Europeans”. Orban has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February but maintains an ambiguous position on the conflict.
Two US citizens recently died in the Donbass region, CNN reported on Saturday, citing a US State Department spokesman. The spokesman, who is not named in the report, did not provide details on the people or the circumstances of their deaths, but said the US government is in contact with the families and is providing “all possible consular assistance,” according to CNN.