Russia strikes Odesa cathedral, Putin dismisses counteroffensive

Russia’s latest strike on Odesa on Sunday killed two people and severely damaged a historic Orthodox cathedral, drawing a vow of retaliation from Ukraine’s leader.

The attack came as President Vladimir Putin met his Belarusian counterpart for talks in Russia and claimed Kyiv’s counteroffensive had “failed”.

Russia has pounded the Ukrainian port city of Odesa since quitting the Black Sea grain deal last week.

Locals watched in disbelief as the Transfiguration Cathedral – originally built in 1794 under imperial Russian rule – was hit.

The biggest Orthodox church in Odesa lies within the UNESCO-protected historic city centre.

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