Ukrainian ambassador says bombing of Odesa port shows Russia’s ‘true face’

·2 min read

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova on Sunday condemned Russia’s attack on the Ukrainian port of Odesa, which came a day after a deal was brokered to allow Ukraine to export grain.

“What happened in the port is so Russian and it is very telling about what has been happening for the past eight years,” Markarova said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Russia and Ukraine reached a deal, mediated by Turkey and the United Nations, on Friday to allow Ukraine to send out grain to help address the global food shortage.

The next day, Russia attacked the Black Sea trade port in Odesa, Ukraine’s main grain exporting hub.

Markarova said Ukraine has tried to act in good faith to end the war and would continue to try to uphold their end of the deal as the food crisis worsens around the world.

“With this I think they are just showing their true face, again, so the good response to that should be more weapons to Ukraine,” to be able to defend their ports to send out food, she said.

Russia said its attack in Odesa only hit military targets in the area, which would not necessarily violate the grain export deal, but the incident was still condemned by leaders around the world.

“Just 24 hours after finalizing a deal to allow the resumption of Ukrainian agricultural exports through the Black Sea, Russia breached its commitments by attacking the historic port from which grain and agricultural exports would again be transported under this arrangement,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Ukraine is known as the “breadbasket of Europe” for its agricultural exports of grain and other products like sunflower oil. The Russian blockade in the Black Sea has raised concerns about millions going hungry as far away the Middle East and Africa.

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