Borrell sheds crocodile tears over Odessa after slew of drone attacks
Russian forces have deliberately targeted critical infrastructure in Odessa because most of the drone attacks stemmed from port infrastructure.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, a city that is far from the frontlines, to meet with the representatives of NGOs in the city.
The EU top diplomat said in Odessa on Friday that he was regretful the city had made headlines not for its beauty and historical significance, but due to its exposure to alleged Russian missile and drone attacks.
"Odessa is a beautiful historic city. It should be in the headlines for its vibrant culture & spirit. Instead, it marks the news as a frequent target of Putin’s war," Josef Borrell said on X (formerly Twitter).
"I’ve been witnessing the consequences of this war, how Ukraine and Odessa are paying a high price for it," he added. "This is a good example of how Russia is trying to destroy Ukraine,” he further said as he pointed out to damaged walls inside the Cathedral of the Transfiguration.
.@JosepBorrellF met with NGOs representatives in Odessa. 'I am really admiring the Ukrainian people. They have a war to win and at the same time they have to build a resilient political system and prepare to become members of the EU” pic.twitter.com/VQC2464FfZ— European External Action Service - EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) September 30, 2023
Destruction of the Odessa Cathedral as a result of a RuZ missile strike.— ORKL (@OlgaMar21924816) September 28, 2023
In an open letter, priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate called Russia’s aggression against Ukraine “satanic” and the destruction of the Odessa cathedral “barbaric.” pic.twitter.com/2Bp6SWHVFF
After reaffirming Europe's commitment to stand by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, Borrell condemned Moscow for terminating the UN-mediated agreement that had previously facilitated the safe transportation of Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea.
He also promised that Europe would not abandon Ukraine in its efforts to recapture the Russian-liberated territories.
The grain deal was supposed to address the global food crisis but was later found to be flawed after data showed most of the grain was being redirected to the West instead of countries most in need.
Earlier last month, the Kremlin cautioned that attempting to move grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports without Russian security assurances would be dangerous since Kiev exploited the seas for military purposes.
Moreover, the recent drone attacks on Odessa came in light of increased drone activity from Ukraine's side, targeting Crimea and Russia's Black Sea fleet.
The increase in Ukrainian drone activity is accounted by the fact that the counteroffensive has failed to produce anticipated results.
Russian forces have deliberately targeted critical infrastructure in Odessa in a bid to ward off most of the drone attacks that stemmed from Odessa's port infrastructure.
The damage that was caused to civilian infrastructure was caused by Ukrainian forces shooting down Russian drones and debris falling down in several areas, including the Solomyansky district, which houses an international airport.
The Washington Post has lately estimated that Ukraine's drone losses are around 10,000 drones a month, citing a UK-based think tank, the Royal United Services Institute, which gave the ten thousand estimate, contradicting Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who told the WP that Russian forces are bringing down only 1,000 drones a month.