Russian missile hits where Zelenskyy met with Greek PM moments after they left

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis paid tribute to 12 people killed in a separate blast on March 2. Credit: @ZelenskyyUa via X

A Russian missile struck Odesa moments after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Black Sea port city on Wednesday.

Zelenskyy was not wounded but said he was close enough to have seen and heard the strike and confirmed a number of people had been killed and injured.

Five people were killed in the strike and more were wounded, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Navy, Dmytro Pletenchuk, told CNN.

“We saw this strike today. You can see who we are dealing with, they don’t care where they strike. I know that there were victims today, I don’t know all the details yet, but I know that there are dead and wounded,” Zelenskyy said from Odesa.

“We need to defend ourselves first and foremost. The best way to do that is with an air defence system,” he added.

Mitsotakis said Zelenskyy had given him a tour of the city before he heard air raid sirens.

“Shortly after, as we were getting into our cars, we heard a big explosion,” Mitsotakis told reporters.

“I think that for us is the best, most vivid reminder that there is a real war going on here. Every day there is a war, which not only affects the front, the soldiers, it affects our innocent fellow citizens.”

Russia’s Defence Ministry said its military had conducted the strike at 11.40am Moscow time.

“The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a high-precision missile attack on a hangar in the industrial port district of Odesa, where preparations were underway for the combat use of unmanned boats of the armed forces of Ukraine.

"The target of the strike has been achieved. The object is hit,” it said in a statement, without mentioning Zelensky or Mitsotakis.

Adamaged apartment building is seen near the location of a March 2 Russian attack during Wednesday's visit to Odesa. Credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Russia has stepped up its strikes on the region in recent days, and on Saturday a Russian drone attack on an apartment block in the city killed 12 people, including five children, Ukrainian officials said.

Speaking after Wednesday’s strike, Zelensky said he had welcomed Mitsotakis to “honour the memory” of those killed in Sunday’s attack and urged his allies to provide more support.

“The world has enough air defence systems and the ability to produce weapons for defence,” he said in his daily address. “Weapons are needed here to save lives. Solutions are needed now – not some day, but for the people who endure terrorist attacks every day and night.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...