Bulgaria joins condemnation of Russian missile strikes on Odesa

Russian missile strikes on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa further propel suffering and devastation – people in peril and centuries of cultural heritage on the verge of obliteration, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on Twitter on July 23.

At least one person has been killed and 19 more injured in fresh Russian missile strikes on Odesa, officials have said, the BBC reported on July 23.

Regional Governor Oleh Kiper said 14 people were hospitalised in the blasts, including four children.

The Ukrainian government said in a tweet that Russia had ruined the Unesco-protected Transfiguration Cathedral, one of the biggest and oldest in Odesa.

“The historic landmark was built in 1795-1808. Soviets destroyed it in 1932. But Ukraine restored the architectural gem in 1999-2005. Located in the historic city centre, it was a sacred place, a heritage site, a sanctuary for locals and an attraction spot for tourists,” the Ukrainian government said.

“Now, as Russian terrorists destroyed it, we feel devastated. But as long as we live and fight, we know — the cathedral will be brought back to its glory again. In free and united Ukraine.”

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that continuous Russian missile terror on Unesco-protected Odesa “constitutes yet another war crime by the Kremlin, demolishing also the main Orthodox Cathedral – a world heritage site”.

“Russia has already damaged hundreds of cultural sites, trying to destroy Ukraine,” Borrell said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Twitter: “Missiles against peaceful cities, against residential buildings, a cathedral… There can be no excuse for Russian evil.

“As always, this evil will lose. And there will definitely be a retaliation to Russian terrorists for Odesa. They will feel this retaliation. All those who suffered from this latest terrorist attack are being provided with assistance,” Zelenskyy said.

“I am grateful to everyone who is helping people and to everyone who is with Odesa in their thoughts and emotions. We will get through this. We will restore peace. And for this, we must defeat the Russian evil,” he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that barrages of Russian missiles killed people and ruined iconic sites in Unesco-protected Odesa.

“The largest-ever attack on a major port vital for world food security is an attack on the entire global community. I urge all states and organisations to condemn this barbaric war crime,” Kuleba said.

The Ukrainian government said earlier that on July 21, Russia attacked an agricultural enterprise in the Odesa region, destroying 100 tonnes of peas and 20 tonnes of barley.

“Right after killing the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Russia demonstrated its true attitude toward global food security,” the Ukrainian government said.

“Russia deliberately strikes Ukrainian grain terminals and agricultural facilities to achieve its political goals. Millions of people worldwide depend on Ukrainian food export. The world must not allow Russia to use food as a weapon. We call on the international community to join Ukraine’s efforts and share the truth about Russia’s attempts to destabilise global food security,” it said.

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