Russian missiles strike vital Ukrainian port

A soldier of Ukraine’s National Guard 1st brigade Bureviy (Hurricane) attends combat training at a military training ground in the north of Ukraine on Wednesday.
(AP/Efrem Lukatsky)
A soldier of Ukraine’s National Guard 1st brigade Bureviy (Hurricane) attends combat training at a military training ground in the north of Ukraine on Wednesday. (AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

KYIV, Ukraine -- A Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian port of Odesa hit a Liberian-flagged freighter, killing a port worker and wounding another, as well as three Filipino crew members on the ship, Ukraine's armed forces said Thursday.

The report did not give the name of the ship or the country of its owners, but Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the ship was to carry iron ore to China. The extent of the damage was not immediately reported.

The Odesa port and others in the region are economically vital to Ukraine as its outlets to the Black Sea, from which ships can head for world markets. Odesa port facilities have come under Russian attack 21 times since Russia in August declined to renew a deal allowing Ukraine to safely export grain via the Black Sea, Kubrakov said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in October that a new Black Sea export corridor had allowed some 50 ships to set sail.

In the southern city of Kherson, which lies across the Dnieper River from Russia-held territory, one civilian was killed and three were wounded in Russian firing on a residential area around midday Thursday, according to Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko.

Three other civilians were killed in Russian attacks over the past day, according to a summary from the presidential office.

In the Donetsk region, the Russian army shelled 11 towns and villages, killing two people in Toretsk and wounding one civilian in Chasiv Yar. In the neighboring Kharkiv region near Izium, a man was killed during artillery shelling.

In the south, one civilian was wounded during shelling of residential areas of Kherson, and another was wounded by a mine. In the area of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Russians shelled Nikopol on the opposite bank of the Dnieper River, wounding a person and damaging infrastructure, power lines and fourteen houses.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now the deputy head of the country's national security council, said Thursday that the military has recruited 410,000 volunteer soldiers so far this year and is having a steady influx of those who want to join.

He added that the current combat situation allows Russia to spend more time on training newly recruited soldiers, charging that it contrasts with Ukraine having to rush new recruits to the front line.