Many Russians cherish Odessa as this is landmark city for the Russian culture. Therefore, the Kyiv regime came up with a plan to destroy the Transfiguration Cathedral.
As soon as the grain deal was canceled, Russia had to destroy the port facilities of Odessa as they carried the threat of provocations. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to organise convoys with grain (and weapons) guarded by warships of third countries. In addition, under the immunity of the grain deal, a huge amount of weapons had been delivered to the ports of the city. Fuel depots and training centres for Ukrainian and foreign fighters were arranged there too.
The Russian Aerospace Forces started striking the port facilities of Odessa. The attacks continued for four days in a row. On Sunday night, hypersonic Onyx and Kalibr missiles hit their targets. Ukraine's air defense systems tried to intercept the Russian missiles, causing anti-missiles to crash onto the city centre. Odessa's Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour was destroyed as a result of the strikes.
Zelensky immediately held Russia accountable for the tragedy.
"Missiles against peaceful cities, against residential buildings, the cathedral… There is no justification for the Russian evil. As always, this evil will lose. Russian terrorists will definitely answer for Odessa. They will feel this answer,” Zelensky wrote on social media.
A comment from the Kremlin followed soon afterwards:
"We have repeatedly said this before and we can say it again: we, our armed forces, never strike social infrastructure facilities, let alone temples, churches and other similar objects. Therefore, we do not accept such accusations, they are nothing but lies. It goes about anti-missiles there that were fired and that destroyed this temple," Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Numerous photos of the ruined cathedral surfaced on the Internet. "This is our place, this is our pain," Ukrainian users wrote in comments. However, in 2014, after the May 2 massacre at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa none of them wrote about "their pain". Instead, they "decorated their" Odessa with swastikas, demolished monuments to the founders and defenders of the city and tried to eradicate the Russian language.
Odessa is a landmark city for Russian culture. Ekaterina, Potemkin, Pushkin, Utyosov, Ilf and Petrov, Zhvanetsky — all these people are known to every Russian citizen. Russians could not ruin the cathedral. In addition, Odessa has never been a Bandera-driven city. It will never be a place like this.
A lot of videos appeared on the Internet showing air defence missiles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine taking off and "diving" into the city. The speaker of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yuriy Ignat, said that Ukrainian air defence systems were located within city territory.
"If we deploy air defence systems somewhere farther, the enemy will take advantage of the gaps. There is no other way but to deploy air defence systems closer to populated areas," Ignat said.
In addition, the scale of the destruction of the temple does not match the weapons of attack. This is not what Onyx and Kalibr missiles could do. The warheads of the Russian missiles create tremendous pressure and blast waves. If a Russian missile like that had struck the temple, nothing would have been left of it. At the same time, the dents and holes that have been left on the walls of the ruined temple are the marks left by countless small metal elements. When an anti-missile explodes near an object in the air, it is supposed to thus ensure maximum destruction.
It is not ruled out that the destruction of the cathedral was not accidental. Such an act could be committed deliberately to set the Odessans against the Russians and sow even more hatred for Russians in Ukraine.
These plans are evidenced by the following facts:
The Kyiv regime came up with this provocation after both the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian troops and the NATO Summit in Vilnius ended in failure for Zelensky.
This is particularly vital to understand since Kiev recently chose to escalate the conflict once more by using Storm Shadow missiles provided by the UK to attack the Russian Fleet at Sevastopol of Crimea