June 18, 2024

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia struck the Black Sea port city of Odesa for a second night in a row in a drone barrage that damaged a warehouse, charred dozens of trucks and injured two drivers in fiery explosions that led officials to suspend ferry service between Romania and Ukraine, officials said Tuesday.

Video shot from the Romanian side of the Danube River showed rapid-fire bursts of Ukrainian anti-aircraft fire streaking through the night sky followed by two orange fireballs exploding near the port area. Photos showed burned-out frames of trucks.

Romanian Border Police said ferries were anchored on the Romanian shores of the Danube in Isaccea due to the attacks on Ukraine. Traffic was being redirected through Galati, a Romanian town upstream on the Danube.

The attacks came the day after a Russian missile and drone attack killed two people in a grain warehouse in Odesa and badly damaged an abandoned high-rise hotel.

Ukraine’s air force said it downed 26 of 38 drones launched by Russia overnight.

At least nine civilians were killed in Ukraine and 15 people were injured over the past 24 hours, the presidential office reported, though some of those deaths were also reported Monday.

Russian artillery damaged homes, a school, a market and a food processing plant in the southern city of Kherson that’s near the front lines of the war, officials said.

In fighting in the Zaporizhzhia region in the southeast, the Russian army dropped five aerial bombs on Robotyne, a town Ukraine took in August in its slow-moving counteroffensive.

Although neither side has released casualty figures, the counteroffensive is believed to have taken a heavy toll on both sides and it has been devastating to the towns and villages where fighting has raged.

New aerial video footage of Klishchiivka, on the outskirts of Bakhmut, shot with a drone for The Associated Press shows how the battle has turned the village in eastern Ukraine into a pile of rubble after months of fierce fighting.

The footage shot two days ago shows the village in ruins with destroyed Russian tanks and military vehicles littering the main road. Barely a building remains intact in the village that was once home to almost 400 people.

The rare structure that still has four walls standing is missing its roof. Single walls stood like tombstones to mark where someone once lived.

Ukraine recaptured the village Sept. 17 after months of fighting, the Ukrainian military said, two days after it said it won back neighboring Andriivka.

Both are tiny towns but were considered tactically important for Ukrainian forces as they extend gains around Bakhmut, 6 miles (10 kilometers) to the north.

The commanding heights of the village offer a view into the Russian-occupied town of Bakhmut and opens up new opportunities for Ukrainian forces to encircle the town.

It also potentially allows Ukrainians a better view of Russian logistic lines.

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Associated Press journalists Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia and Brian Melley in London contributed to this report. ___

For more coverage of the war in Ukraine, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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