Air raid sirens sounded early Friday in Odesa for the fourth night in a row.
Ukraine has struggled this week to repel a wave of Russian strikes against the southern port city, its air defenses unable to cope with the types of missiles that Moscow has used to pummel the region this week.
Here's what you should know:
- Odesa attacks: One person was killed in strikes on the city Thursday, officials said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia has used almost 70 missiles of various types and almost 90 Shahed drones over four days in assaults on southern cities, including Odesa. Ukraine is working with partners "as extensively as possible" for additional air defense systems that can provide security to Odesa and other cities, he said.
- Crimean bridge: Moscow said the attacks on Odesa were retaliation for the Ukrainian strike Monday on the bridge linking occupied Crimea to Russia. The bridge was temporarily closed and the air raid warning system activated early Friday, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
- Food security: The Odesa attacks also come after Russia pulled out of a critical grain deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports a safe way out of the country. The UN Secretary-General warned that attacks on port cities will have an impact "well beyond Ukraine" when it comes to food prices. The UN will keep negotiating to get more Ukrainian exports through, a UN official said. Russia's foreign ministry on Wednesday said all ships sailing in the Black Sea to Ukrainian ports would be considered potential carriers of military cargo.
- Prigozhin's whereabouts: CIA Director Bill Burns said he believes the Wagner boss is in Belarus, and predicted Prigozhin would eventually face "retribution" from Russian President Vladimir Putin for his mutiny last month. "If I were Prigozhin, I wouldn’t fire my food taster," Burns said.
- Cluster munitions: Ukrainian troops have started using US-provided cluster munitions in their counteroffensive against Russia, according to a White House official. They have been using the controversial weapons “appropriately” and “effectively” in combat, the spokesperson said.
- US sanctions: The Biden administration added new sanctions that target companies and suppliers that have helped fuel Russia’s war in Ukraine by providing dual-use items. “Today’s actions represent another step in our efforts to constrain Russia’s military capabilities, its access to battlefield supplies, and its economic bottom line,” Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said.
This post has been updated.