Russia shells Ukraine’s Odessa as US pledges fresh arms for Kyiv - GulfToday

Russia shells Ukraine’s Odessa as US pledges fresh arms for Kyiv


A man walks past a beach hotel destroyed in the Ukrainian city of Odessa as a result of a Russian missile strike. AFP

Russian forces intensified their fight in Ukraine's east and fired missiles over the port city of Odessa, as President Joe Biden signed a law speeding up arms deliveries to Kyiv.

The southern city was hit by a series of missiles Monday, destroying buildings, setting ablaze a shopping centre and killing one person, its city council said, just hours after a visit by European Council President Charles Michel.


Putin claims he invaded Ukraine because West was preparing to take Russia

Putin to mark Victory Day as Russia presses Ukraine assault

As Russia stepped up its fight to seize Ukraine's east, US President Joe Biden resurrected a World War II measure to aid Kyiv, opening the spigots on artillery, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank weapons and other powerful Western materiel.

The United States has sent some $4 billion in military aid to Ukraine already but "caving to aggression is even more costly," Biden said as he signed the act, passed with unusual bipartisan support.

A Russian missile destroys the Grande Pettine Hotel in Odessa, Ukraine, on Sunday. AP

Missiles earlier rumbled through Moscow's Red Square as Russia's President Vladimir Putin sought to channel national pride on the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany into support for a war that has killed thousands and sent millions into exile.

On the ground in Ukraine, the governor of Lugansk reported "very serious battles" in the frontline areas of Bilogorivka and Rubizhne.

An AFP team reported seeing columns of trucks filled with soldiers and heavy equipment move down the main road leading away from the city of Severodonetsk — one of its last eastern strongholds against Russia — suggesting Ukraine was pulling back from some parts of the front.

This photo shows a destroyed beach hotel in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. AFP

In the devastated southern port of Mariupol, pro-Russian separatists feted Victory Day, with leader Denis Pushilin and residents carrying a giant black and orange ribbon of Saint George — a symbol of WWII celebrations in Russia — through a city that has seen some of the heaviest fighting since the invasion on February 24.

Full control of Mariupol would allow Moscow to create a land bridge between the Crimean peninsula, which it annexed in 2014, and eastern regions run by pro-Russian separatists.

Some have speculated that Putin was seeking to achieve that goal in time for Victory Day, but a small contingent of depleted Ukrainian forces continued their defence of a final bastion at the Azovstal steelworks.

Agence France-Presse

Related articles