Russia hit a foreign civilian vessel in Ukrainian territorial waters
On November 8, 2023, Russian troops carried out a missile strike on the Pivdennyi seaport in the Odesa region. As a result, the harbor pilot was killed, and four people were injured.
As the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine reported, Russia hit a civilian marine vessel under the flag of Liberia during its mooring at the berth of the seaport. Due to the missile attack, the harbor pilot on board the ship was killed. Another port employee and three crew members, citizens of the Republic of the Philippines, received shrapnel wounds. One of the injured foreign residents was hospitalized.
Under the procedural guidance of the Odesa Regional Prosecutor’s Office, a pre-trial investigation has been initiated on violating the laws and customs of war (Part 1 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, condemned the Russian attack on Ukrainian civilian port infrastructure. “This attack on a foreign civilian vessel is yet another escalation and proof of Russia terrorizing civilian naval traffic.” Stano also added that by “targeting Ukrainian ports and export facilities, Russia deliberately exacerbates the global food security crisis.”
Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister for Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, also commented on another Russian shelling of the Odesa region. “That’s why Ukraine is doing everything to strengthen air defense systems and cover the South of Ukraine from Russian terrorist attacks. We thank all the partners who assist with protecting our skies,” stated Kubrakov on his Facebook page.
According to Kubrakov, it was the 21st deliberate attack by Russia on Ukrainian port infrastructure after the aggressor country withdrew from the Grain Initiative. Since July 2023, the enemy has damaged over 160 infrastructure objects and 122 transport vehicles.
In July 2023, Russia suspended its participation in the Grain Initiative and withdrew security guarantees for ships navigating the Black Sea’s northwestern part. In its turn, the Ukrainian Navy announced the establishment of the temporary corridor on August 8, 2023. During this period, 116 vessels entered the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi for loading, and 91 ships exported 3,3 million tons of agricultural and metal products through the temporary corridor.