Russia claims responsibility for missile strike on Ukrainian port city 1 day after agreeing to allow exports

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Russia claimed responsibility for a missile strike on the port city of Odessa that came just one day after Russian officials agreed to allow Ukraine to export grain from the city.

Ukrainian and Russian officials reached an agreement to allow exports from port cities like Odessa on Friday, only for the missile strike to occur the following day. U.S. and Ukrainian officials immediately accused Russia of carrying out the attack, but the country did not claim responsibility for it until Sunday.

Russian officials say the strike only hit Ukrainian military targets, including a warship. Ukraine has not released details about what targets were hit nor how many casualties they sustained.

Grain storage facilities were not affected by the attack, however, a Ukrainian spokeswoman told the Washington Post.

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Rescue workers sift through rubble at the scene in the aftermath of a Russian rocket that hit an apartment residential block, in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 10, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

People watch as smoke rises in the air after shelling in Odesa, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

People watch as smoke rises in the air after shelling in Odesa, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
(AP)

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U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink condemned the attack in a weekend statement.

“Russia strikes the port city of Odesa less than 24 hours after signing an agreement to allow shipments of agricultural exports,” she wrote on Twitter. “The Kremlin continues to weaponize food. Russia must be held to account.”

Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has left the country, one of the world’s top grain producers, unable to effectively export its supply, causing shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

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Odessa has faced repeated missile strikes since the outset of Russia’s invasion in late February.

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