Missile strikes rock Odesa in south Ukraine

Missile strikes rock Odesa in south Ukraine

Smoke from a missile strike rises above Ukraine's strategic Black Sea port of Odessa early on Sunday, as Kyiv warned that Russia was trying to consolidate its troops in the south. (Photo: Bulent Ulent Kilic/ AFP)
Smoke from a missile strike rises above Ukraine's strategic Black Sea port of Odessa early on Sunday, as Kyiv warned that Russia was trying to consolidate its troops in the south. (Photo: Bulent Ulent Kilic/ AFP)

KYIV, Ukraine: Latest developments in the Russian war on Ukraine.

- Air strikes hit Odessa -

Missile strikes rocked Ukraine's strategic Black Sea port Odessa on Sunday morning, but the army said there were no casualties.

"High-precision sea and air-based missiles destroyed an oil refinery and three storage facilities for fuel and lubricants near the city of Odessa," the Russian defence ministry said

- Russian pullback -

Russian troops left scenes of devastation in the city of Bucha, just outside Kyiv, where nearly 300 people have been buried in a mass grave, mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told AFP.  The heavily shelled city is littered with corpses, with 20 bodies in civilian clothing strewn across a single tree-lined street.

"All these people were shot, killed, in the back of the head," Fedoruk said.

- Mayors abducted -

Eleven local community leaders in Ukraine have been kidnapped by Russian forces, deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said onSunday.

"Up to today, 11 heads of local communities in the regions of Kyiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Donetsk are in captivity," she said in a video message posted on her Telegram account.

"We are informing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN, all possible organisations, just like for the other civilians who have disappeared."

- Mines and booby traps -

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian soldiers of planting mines and other booby traps as they withdraw from northern Ukraine. "They are mining the whole territory. Mining houses, equipment, even the bodies of people who were killed," he said in a video address on Saturday.

- Ukraine reclaims Kyiv region -

Ukraine has regained control of "the whole Kyiv region" after invading Russian forces retreated from some key towns near the Ukrainian capital, deputy defence minister Ganna Maliar said.

"Russia is prioritising a different tactic: falling back on the east and south," according to a Ukrainian presidential adviser. (continues below)

Ukrainian soldiers patrol a street near the village of Kozarovychi, in Kyiv region, on Saturday. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/ Reuters)

- Mariupol evacuation -

The Red Cross said its team left for the besieged southern port of Mariupol Saturday for a fresh evacuation effort.

- Journalist killed -

Ukrainian photographer Maks Levin has been found dead near Kyiv after going missing more than two weeks ago, the government saids. Prosecutors said he was "unarmed" and "killed by servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces with two shots from small firearms".

- Baltic states stop imports -

The head of Latvia's natural gas storage operator said the Baltic states are no longer importing Russian natural gas.

- Peace proposals -

Ukraine's top negotiator in peace talks with Russia said Moscow had "verbally" agreed to key Ukrainian proposals, raising hopes that talks to end fighting are moving forward. Russia said later there was no progress justifying a meeting of the two leaders.

- Attacks on protesters -

Ukraine's human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova accused Russian forces of opening fire on peaceful demonstrators, injuring four with "severe burns", in the southern city of Enerhodar, occupied by Moscow's forces.

- Russian protesters detained -

Russian police detained 211 people at protests against Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, according to OVD-Info, an NGO.

- Call for Putin arrest warrant -

Veteran war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte called for the International Criminal Court to quickly issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over actions in Ukraine.

- Refugees - The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine has passed 4.1 million, the United Nations said.

Pope Francis called for a "shared response" to "the growing migration emergency", adding that he was still considering a visit to Kyiv.

- UN visits -

A top UN official was to fly to Moscow on Sunday, and then on to Kyiv, to try and secure a "humanitarian ceasefire" in Ukraine..

Both Russia and Ukraine had agreed to meet Martin Griffiths, the UN's under-secretary-feneral for humanitarian affairs, Antonio Guterres said.

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