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An explosion shakes Odesa while the Greek Prime Minister meets with Zelenskyy.
Europe Ukraine

An explosion shakes Odesa while the Greek Prime Minister meets with Zelenskyy.

The noise of a massive blast echoed across Odesa on Wednesday, coinciding with the conclusion of a tour of the war-stricken southern city by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The leader of Greece stated that while officials were entering their vehicles, they heard a loud explosion. He emphasized that this incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing war between Odesa and Russia.

Mitsotakis stated that while hearing about war is one thing, experiencing it first-hand is quite a different matter.

During a statement to reporters, Zelenskyy reported that the blast resulted in fatalities and injuries, but could not provide a specific count. He expressed frustration with the disregard shown by those responsible for the explosion.

Russian representatives did not provide an immediate response.

Zelenskyy has regularly visited cities and military units on the front line during the war, always in secrecy until after he has left. Foreign leaders have made numerous trips to Ukraine, often to the capital of Kyiv, and they occasionally have had to take refuge in shelters when air raid sirens have sounded.

Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, publicly denounced the violent incident that occurred during the Greek leader’s trip on the X social media platform. She described it as a “heinous attack” and labeled it as yet another act of terror by Russia.

A Ukrainian officer from the 56th Separate Motorized Infantry Mariupol Brigade fires a multiple launch rocket system based on a pickup truck toward Russian positions at the front line, near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on March 5, 2024.

A soldier from the Ukrainian 56th Separate Motorized Infantry Mariupol Brigade uses a pickup truck-mounted multiple launch rocket system to target Russian positions along the front line near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on March 5, 2024.

Russian drone attacks

President Zelenskyy presented to Mitsotakis the devastation in Odesa, where a recent significant Russian aggression resulted in the deaths of 12 individuals, including five children. On March 2, a Russian drone struck an apartment building, causing destruction and loss of life.

According to Ukraine, they successfully intercepted 38 out of 42 drones that were aimed at eight regions of the country on Wednesday. Additionally, they managed to neutralize five Russian missiles.

The prosecutor general of Ukraine reported that seven individuals were harmed in Sumy during a drone assault. The interceptions occurred above various regions in Ukraine, including Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Cherkasy, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia and Sumy, according to the air force.

The governor for the region of Dnipropetrovsk, Serhiy Lysak, stated that a power line was affected but there were no injuries.

Ukrainian drone attacks

According to statements from Russian officials, on Wednesday, two unmanned aerial vehicles from Ukraine targeted fuel facilities at a major iron ore factory in Russia.

The governor of the Kursk region, Roman Staravoit, stated that a fire occurred at the Mikhailovsky GOK iron ore plant, but there were no reported injuries. The incident was described as an attack.

The Russian defense ministry announced on Wednesday that they prevented two separate drone attacks from Ukraine in the Voronezh region and one in the Belgorod region in western Russia.

FILE - International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. The court issued arrest warrants March 5, 2024, for two high-ranking Russian military officers on charges linked to attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine that judges said happened “pursuant to a state policy.”

The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, released arrest warrants on March 5, 2024, for two top-level Russian military leaders. They are being charged with involvement in attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, which the judges claim were carried out as part of a state policy.

The Russian government denied the two high-ranking commanders’ arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court for their alleged involvement in war crimes in Ukraine, specifically targeting civilian infrastructure.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, informed reporters that this is not familiar to us.

The warrants were given to Lt. Gen. Sergei Ivanovich Kobylash, the leader of Russia’s Long-Range Aviation of the Aerospace Force, and Navy Adm. Viktor Kinolayevich Sokolov, the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan stated that it is imperative for those involved in actions that harm innocent civilians or protected sites to understand that they are bound by the regulations outlined in international humanitarian law. He emphasized that all wars are governed by a set of rules that apply to everyone, without any exceptions.

The growth was welcomed by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy who expressed gratitude in his evening statement to all the government representatives involved in the investigation of Russian war crimes.

On X, Zelenskyy stated that any Russian commander who initiates attacks on innocent Ukrainian citizens and vital infrastructure will face consequences and be brought to justice. It is crucial for those responsible for such offenses to understand that they will be held accountable.

This report includes data from both The Associated Press and Reuters.