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Ukraine says Russian missile hits civilian ship transporting iron ore to China, killing one


Ukraine says Russian missile hits civilian ship transporting iron ore to China, killing one

A Russian missile damaged a Liberia-flagged civilian vessel entering a Black Sea port in Odesa region, killing one and injuring four people, Ukrainian officials said on Wednesday.

After pulling out of the UN-brokered deal that guaranteed safe shipments of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, Russia has been repeatedly attacking Ukrainian port infrastructure.

“The missile hit the superstructure of a civilian vessel under the flag of Liberia, at the moment of its entry into the port,” Ukraine’s southern military command said on Telegram messenger.

It added that one person was killed, three crew members, citizens of the Philippines, and one port employee were injured.

Damage to the interior of Liberia-flagged cargo vessel Kmax Ruler is seen after a Russian missile strike in the Odesa region of Ukraine on Wednesday. Photo: Odesa Regional Prosecutor’s Office via Facebook/Reuters

The vessel was supposed to transport iron ore to China, Ukraine Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said.

Kubrakov added that Russia carried out 21 targeted attacks on port infrastructure after withdrawing from the deal.

“During this time, the terrorist country damaged more than 160 infrastructure facilities and 122 vehicles,” he said on Facebook.

Yoruk Isik, head of the Bosphorus Observer consultancy, identified the vessel as Kmax Ruler, 92,000 dwt.

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He said the ship had been in the port of Pivdennyi loading iron when it was hit.

The Ukrainian pilot on board was killed and “a few” crew members were dead or injured, he said.

The export deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey collapsed in July as Russia denounced its provisions, saying its demands for sanctions be lifted on its grain and fertiliser exports had not been met.

Kyiv has since opened what it says is a temporary humanitarian corridor in a bid to break Russia’s de facto blockade.

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