Russian missile attacks on residential areas killed at least 21 people early on Friday near the Ukrainian port of Odesa, authorities reported, a day after the withdrawal of Moscow’s forces from an island in the Black Sea seemed to ease the threat to the city. Video of the attack before daybreak showed the charred ruins of buildings in the small town of Serhiivka, about 50 kilometers from Odesa. The Ukrainian President’s office said three Kh-22 missiles fired by warplanes struck an apartment building and a campsite.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. The conversation that came days after PM Modi participated in the G7 summit in Germany, included the Ukraine crisis and the latest developments in the global commodities market. “The two leaders reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken during President Putin’s visit to India in December 2021. In particular, they exchanged ideas on how bilateral trade in agricultural goods, fertilizer and pharma products could be encouraged further,” informed an official press release. The two sides discussed the latest developments in the Ukraine crisis, with Prime Minister Modi reiterating “India’s long-standing position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy.”
President Vladimir Putin has denied his forces were responsible for that attack and Moscow made no immediate comment on the Odessa strikes. On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed a new chapter in its relationship with the European Union, after Brussels recently granted Ukraine candidate status in Kyiv’s push to join the 27-member bloc, even if membership is likely years away. “Our journey to membership shouldn’t take decades. We should make it down this road quickly,” Mr. Zelensky told Ukraine’s parliament.