5 killed in Russian attack near Zelensky in Odessa

(CNN) — A Russian missile struck Odessa on Wednesday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in the Black Sea port city with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

A Ukrainian Navy spokesman confirmed that at least five people were killed and several injured in the attack.

Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk announced, “We can confirm the attack of another bomber against the port infrastructure (today in Odessa). Unfortunately, five people have been killed and injured. The investigation is ongoing. “

Zelensky was not injured, but said he was so close that he saw and heard the impact, and confirmed that several people were killed or injured.

“Today we have seen this attack. You can see who we are dealing with, they do not care where they attack. I know there were victims today, I still don’t know all the details, but I know there are dead and wounded,” Zelensky announced from Odessa this Wednesday.

“We have to protect ourselves first. The best way to do that is through an air defense system,” he said.

Mitsotakis noted that Zelensky had given him a tour of the city before the air raid sirens were heard.

“Shortly afterward, as we were getting into our cars, we heard a big explosion,” Mitsotakis told reporters later Wednesday. “I think for us it is the best and most vivid reminder that there is a real war here. Every day is a war that affects not only those on the front lines, the soldiers, but also our innocent fellow citizens.”

A source familiar with the situation told CNN that the Odessa attack occurred about 500 meters from the convoy of the Ukrainian president and the Greek prime minister.

Zelensky often makes high-risk trips to the front and has welcomed dozens of world leaders to Ukraine during its more than two-year war with Russia, but this Wednesday’s attack may be one of the most up-close experiences for the president. .

Russia has bombarded Odessa with missiles for several months and Moscow has attacked Ukrainian grain warehouses.

Ukrainian officials said a Russian drone strike on an apartment block in Odessa on Saturday killed 12 people, including five children.

Zelensky said it highlighted the need to further strengthen the country’s air defenses.

Russia admitted missile attack in Odessa

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched an attack with high-precision missiles against a hangar in the port industrial zone of Odessa.

“At 11:40 Moscow time, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a high-precision missile attack on a hangar in the port industrial district of Odessa, where preparations for the combat use of non-military boats were being carried out. Statement of the Ministry of Defense “The Armed Forces of Ukraine. The target of the attack has been attacked. The object has been attacked,” it said.

The ministry’s statement did not mention the closeness of the two world leaders.

With reporting by AnneClaire Stapleton, Eleni Giokos and Sergei Gudkov.

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