Russian missiles hit oil refinery and storage units in Odesa
ITV News Correspondent John Ray reports from Odesa, which was awoken on Sunday by multiple loud blasts
Odesa has felt its first direct impact of the Russian invasion, after the city was hit by missiles early Sunday morning.
Russia's defence ministry eventually claimed the attack, saying in a statement: "High-precision sea and air launched missiles destroyed an oil refinery and three storage facilities for fuel and lubricants."
Two explosions were heard in Odesa early Sunday and smoke was seen rising above the city.
“Odesa was attacked from the air. Some missiles were shot down by air defence,” the city council said in a brief statement on the Telegram messaging app.
It said fires were reported in some areas but gave no indication what was hit in the attack.
ITV News Correspondent John Ray, reporting from the city, said it was the first time the city had felt the direct impact of the war.
"Clearly we're a long way from Russian troops, but not Russian air power which has Odesa well within range.
"This city, on the Black Sea, is of vital strategic importance to the Russians and the Ukrainians - it is Ukraine's main link, from a maritime point of view, with the outside world".
Meanwhile in his nightly address, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia's fixation on the besieged city of Mariupol has allowed his troops to make gains elsewhere.
Ukrainian forces have continued to pose a "significant challenge" to invading Russian forces, the UK's Ministry of Defence said.
After making gains north of the capital Kyiv on Saturday, Ukrainian authorities said forces had regained control of the city of Pripyat on Sunday.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Sunday: "As Russian troops are forced into retreat, we are seeing increasing evidence of appalling acts by the invading forces in towns such as Irpin and Bucha.
"Their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians during Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine must be investigated as war crimes.
"We will not allow Russia to cover up their involvement in these atrocities through cynical disinformation and will ensure that the reality of Russia’s actions are brought to light."
ITV News reported from Irpin on Saturday, where delivery vans, used to collect the deceased, were driving on streets soaked with blood.
In Mariupol, civilians are awaiting possible evacuation amid a worsening humanitarian disaster.
About 100,000 people are believed to remain in the Sea of Azov city, less than a quarter its pre-war population of 430,000, and dire shortages of water, food, fuel and medicine persist.
Among those trying to get residents out of the city was the International Committee of the Red Cross, which still hadn’t reached the city on Saturday, a day after local authorities said it had been blocked by Russian forces.
ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports from Irpin on the evening Ukraine announces the Russians have finally retreated
But defending forces have made gains elsewhere, Ukraine says.
“Ukraine has gained invaluable time, time that is allowing us to foil the enemy’s tactics and weaken its capabilities,” President Zelenskyy said late Saturday.
He alleged that as Russian troops have shifted, they've left mines around homes, abandoned equipment and even the bodies of the dead.
Those claims could not be independently verified, but Ukrainian troops were seen heeding the warning.
Ukrainian troops moved cautiously to retake territory north of the country’s capital on Saturday.
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The head of Ukraine’s delegation in talks with Russia said Moscow’s negotiators informally agreed to most of a draft proposal discussed during face-to-face talks in Istanbul this week, but no written confirmation has been provided.
Negotiator Davyd Arakhamia said on Ukrainian TV that he hopes that draft is developed enough so that the two countries’ presidents can meet to discuss it.
Even as flickers of hope emerged for Ukraine in some places, President Zelenskyy said he expects towns where Russian forces depart to endure missile and rocket strikes from afar and for the battle in the east to be intense.
He called for his people to do whatever they can to ensure the country’s survival, even acts as simple as showing each other kindness.
“When a nation is defending itself in a war of annihilation, when it is a question of life or death of millions, there are no unimportant things. And everyone can contribute to a victory for all,” the president said.
“Some with weapons in their hands. Some by working. And some with a warm word and help at the right moment. Do everything you can so we stand together in this war for our freedom, for our independence.”