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Russia Attacks Ukraine's Black Sea Port Odesa, Attempting to Disrupt Arms Shipments

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An Ukrainian firefighter works near a destroyed building on the outskirts of Odesa, Ukraine, May 10, 2022.

Russia launched missile attacks Tuesday on the Black Sea port of Odesa, Ukrainian officials said, as Moscow attempted to disrupt critical weapons shipments and supply lines into Ukraine in the 11th week of the grinding war.

The Ukrainian military said Russia fired seven missiles at Odesa targets, hitting a shopping center and a warehouse, killing at least one person and wounding five more.

Mayor Gennady Trukhanov visited the warehouse at daybreak and said it "had nothing in common with military infrastructure or military objects."

Ukraine contended that some of the munitions fired at Odesa dated back to the Soviet era, making them unreliable at targeting. But a Ukrainian think tank tracking the war, the Center for Defense Strategies, said Moscow used some precision weapons against Odesa: Kinzhal, or "Dagger," hypersonic air-to-surface missiles.

However, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters that he'd seen "no evidence to speak [of] with respect to hypersonic missiles being fired at Odesa."

Kirby added that there has been "no impact to the flow of and shipment of materiel into Ukraine, either as a result of the strikes on Odesa or the strikes anywhere else."

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday debated a bill authorizing nearly $40 billion in new military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, $7 billion more than President Joe Biden asked for last week.

Biden said his administration has "nearly exhausted" his existing authority to send weapons and other military equipment from Pentagon stockpiles.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a similar appeal in a letter to lawmakers, urging them to act before May 19, when they expect the existing drawdown will run out.

Fighting has been concentrated in eastern and southern Ukraine in recent weeks after Moscow pulled troops from elsewhere in the country, including the area surrounding the capital of Kyiv in northern Ukraine.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies during a Senate Armed Services hearing to examine worldwide threats on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 10, 2022.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies during a Senate Armed Services hearing to examine worldwide threats on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 10, 2022.

However, Avril Haines, the U.S. director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the intelligence community assesses that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be content with capturing eastern Ukraine, if that even occurs.

"We assess President Putin is preparing for prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas" region, Haines said.

"We assess that President Putin's strategic goals have probably not changed, suggesting he regards the decision in late March to refocus Russian forces on the Donbas as only a temporary shift to regain the initiative after the Russian military's failure to capture Kyiv," she said.

There appears to be no end near in the fighting, with inconclusive results so far, even with thousands of Russian forces and Ukrainian troops and civilians killed.

Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, testifies about worldwide threats during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 10, 2022.
Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, testifies about worldwide threats during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 10, 2022.

Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate committee that neither side is winning.

"The Russians aren't winning, and the Ukrainians aren't winning, and we're at a bit of a stalemate here," Berrier said.

The head of the U.N.'s human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner, told reporters Tuesday that her office had confirmed more than 7,000 civilian casualties, including 3,381 deaths, since Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, and that the real toll is far higher.

In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomes German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 10, 2022.
In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomes German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 10, 2022.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Tuesday that included a stop in Bucha.

Baerbock is the latest international figure to go to Ukraine to show support and get a firsthand view of the situation in the country. U.S. first lady Jill Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made separate visits to Ukraine on Sunday.

Russia's president on Monday blamed Western nations for his invasion of Ukraine, but he did not announce any change to Moscow's military campaign or declare victory as some analysts had predicted he would during his speech marking Russia's Victory Day, which celebrates when Soviet forces defeated the Nazis in Europe in 1945.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Press and Reuters.

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