The Russian Aerospace Forces continue striking the infrastructure of the ports of Odessa. The Russian forces may take the city as early as this spring, and it will change the course of the special military operation dramatically.
On Sunday, November 5, six missiles struck the Yuzhny port in Odessa. Official sources in the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said that a missile fired from a Russian tactical aviation aircraft in the Black Sea hit a civilian ship flying the flag of Liberia as it entered the port. The local administration confirmed such reports.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, the missile hit the superstructure of the civilian ship. Three crew members (citizens of the Philippines), were injured, the pilot was killed, another port worker was injured.
Officers of the Security Bureau of Ukraine (SBU) blocked the ship and did not let anyone enter the port. The intervention of the SBU suggests that the ship was carrying weapons, rather than grain on board. Surprisingly, the Russian Aerospace Forces have not showed such a reaction before even though the one-way Ukrainian "grain” channel in the Black Sea has been operating for several months and has let through as many as 70 ships.
The destruction of the ship flying a foreign flag will certainly affect the number of dry cargo ships sailing to Odessa. It will also affect the cost of insurance issued by Ukraine and international companies. It is worth noting here that Russia pulled out from the grain deal with the UN and Ukraine and does not guarantee the safety of ships.
It appears that Odessa has been in the centre of attention of the command of the special military operation for the following reasons:
It appears that after the capture of Avdiivka and part of the Kharkiv region, the Russian Armed Forces will concentrate their efforts on Odessa.
Russia may take control of Odessa in spring of 2024, when Ukraine is depleted of resources and motivation to fight. If Russia takes Odessa under control, Ukraine will be deprived of its export-import potential. The West will finally lose interest in Ukraine, as Ukraine without a sea outlet is like a predator without teeth.
The loss of Odessa will cause the rapid disintegration of Ukraine, the demoralisation of Banderites*, and the Russian Armed Forces will be able to celebrate one success after another in liberating left-bank Ukraine (and beyond).
*leader of the OUN-UPA, recognised as an extremist organisation, banned in Russia.
Two ballistic missiles attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from the territory of Yemen. The destroyer came to the aid of the hijacked Central Park tanker of Zodiac Maritime