Russian missile narrowly misses Zelensky, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis

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A Russian missile that killed five people in Odessa on Wednesday narrowly missed the convoy carrying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The missile landed within half a kilometer of the convoy, and the group felt the impact and saw a “mushroom cloud” of smoke rising from the site, a source told CNN.

“We saw this strike today. You can see who we are dealing with, they don’t care where they strike,” Zelensky said later from the Black Sea port city, the outlet noted.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pictured together in Odessa. via REUTERS

“I know there have been casualties today, I don’t know all the details yet, but I know there have been deaths and injuries,” he continued, adding: “We have to defend ourselves first and foremost.

“The best way to do that is with an air defense system,” Zelensky emphasized.

Five people were killed and several others injured in the attack, Ukrainian Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk later told CNN.

“Shortly afterwards, when we got into our car, we heard a big explosion,” Mitsotakis told reporters.

“I think this is the best, most vivid reminder for us that there is a real war going on here. Every day there is a war that affects not only the front and the soldiers, but also our innocent fellow citizens,” he said.

The prime minister added that Zelensky gave him a tour of Odesa — which has been severely damaged by a Russian missile attack in the past two years — just before they heard the air raid siren, CNN reported.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the attack took place around 11:40 a.m. Moscow time.

Zelensky welcomed the Greek Prime Minister to Odessa on Wednesday. via REUTERS

“The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a high-precision missile attack on a hangar in the industrial port district of Odesa, where preparations were being made for the combat use of unmanned boats of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The purpose of the strike has been achieved. The object was hit,” the statement said.

Just a few days earlier, a rocket attack on an apartment building in the city killed 12 people, including five children.

Zelensky is known for making trips to high-risk areas of the conflict — but Wednesday may have been one of his closest calls yet, the outlet noted.

After Wednesday’s strike, the president continued to pressure foreign allies to send more aid to his military.

“The world has sufficient air defense systems and the ability to produce weapons for defense. Guns are needed here to save lives. Solutions are needed now – not ever, but for the people who face terrorist attacks day and night,” he implored.

The convoy of the two leaders was close to the site of the rocket attack. REUTERS

Last week, Zelensky also warned that Russia was preparing for a summer offensive.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the White House said Wednesday’s strike provided more evidence of the need for President Biden’s $60 billion aid package for Ukraine, a currency stuck in Congress.

“This attack is yet another reminder of how Russia continues to recklessly attack Ukraine every day and of Ukraine’s urgent needs, especially for air defense interceptors,” a National Security Council spokesperson told CNN.

“We once again call on the House of Representatives to take action to support Ukraine so that we can provide the Ukrainian armed forces with the equipment they desperately need to defend themselves against these outrageous Russian attacks,” she added.




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