Russian attacks in Odessa, a large city in southern Ukraine, left at least eight people injured and significantly damaged an art museum overnight Sunday, Ukrainian officials said.
Images released by city and museum authorities show debris and shards of glass on the floor of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Odessa, some of which have broken windows. The walls are cracked and some paintings appear to have been thrown to the ground by the force of the explosion.
Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Eminé Djeppar said she was “deeply outraged” by the strike.
“Deliberate destruction of cultural sites is a crime against Ukrainian heritage,” he denounced, demanding “a firm international response and immediate action by UNESCO.”
Deliberate destruction of cultural sites is a crime against Ukrainian heritage
Soon after, UNESCO said it “strongly condemned” the attack, recalling that “cultural sites must be protected”.
The interim director of the museum, Kateryna Koulaï, for her part, indicated that an assessment is being made of “(potential) damage invisible to the naked eye”.
Most of the works on display had been “evacuated”, said Oleg Kiper, an official with the regional authorities. “The drawings and paintings in the current exhibits were not damaged,” he told Telegram.
The National Museum of Fine Arts in Odessa, an elegant pink building, opened at the end of the 19th century.e century, according to its website.
19 dead soldiers
Kiev accused Moscow of launching four missiles and launching attack drones from Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories. In the Odesa region, eight people were injured, Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klimenko announced.
The strikes also affected about twenty buildings and infrastructures, the nature of which was not specified. Ukraine also fears seeing Moscow launch systematic attacks on its energy infrastructure, such as last winter, forcing heating and power cuts on millions of people.
The head of the administration of the Ukrainian presidency, Andrii Iermak, recalled on Monday that the winter will be “very difficult”. “Russia is getting ready, so we have to get ready too,” he said.
Kiev has asked its Western allies to strengthen their anti-aircraft defenses to avoid the feared escalation of Russian attacks during the winter.
In the Kherson region, also located in the south, buildings were hit by a missile, according to Oleksandr Prokudin, the governor.
One of those buildings “was hit for the third time by the enemy,” he said, adding that the strike had injured one resident.
For its part, the Ukrainian Air Force stated that “fifteen Shahed (drones) and one Kh-59 guided air missile have been shot down.”
Finally, Ukraine confirmed that a Russian missile killed 19 of its soldiers on Friday.
According to local media, the soldiers gathered for a decoration ceremony near the front line in the Zaporizhia region.
The Ukrainian army confirmed that soldiers had died, without specifying their number so far.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Sunday that an investigation would be carried out into the circumstances of this “tragedy which could have been avoided”, according to him.
Court proceedings have been initiated for “negligent behavior of a serving military officer,” Ukrainian security services announced on Monday.
Also in southern Russia, two Ukrainian drones were shot down in the Voronezh region without causing any casualties or damage, according to the regional governor, Alexander Gusev.
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