Russia has been targeting western-supplied weapons in Ukraine and Kyiv’s grain supply, as EU energy ministers hold emergency talks.
The Kremlin reportedly targeted weaponry supplied to Ukraine by the United States and European Union this week, with Moscow’s defence ministry saying it used high-precision missiles against the airfield in Odessa.
Russia also said it had shot down two Ukrainian bombers over Kharkiv.
Crisis meeting on energy
As the war goes into its third month, the European Union’s energy ministers held emergency talks on Monday, as it looks to block Moscow’s bid to force energy-buyers to pay in roubles.
The states are looking to avoid Russia turning off the gas immediately, despite having planned to cut themselves off from reliance from the Kremlin this year.
Last month, Russia turned off gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria, who refused to pay for energy in roubles.
According to Reuters, Moscow supplies 40 per cent of the European Union’s gas, and more than 25 per cent of its pol imports – meaning Germany has so far fallen short of calling for a complete halt.
Germany’s Agriculture Minister Cem Oezdemir accused the Kremlin of deliberately targeting Ukraine’s grain supply, which could lead to Kyiv losing millions of tons of grain, owing to a the blockading of black sea ports.
According to Reuters, Oezdemir told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland network: “We are repeatedly receiving reports about targeted Russian attacks on grain silos, fertilizer stores, farming areas and infrastructure”.
Inside Ukraine, its deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, called the attempts to evacuate civilians from the devastated port city of Mariupol a “real humanitarian catastrophe”.
Russia’s continued bombardment of Ukraine, particularly in the east, has killed thousands and displaced millions, including creating upwards of five million refugees.
Aid groups have repeatedly called for humanitarian corridors to allow civilians out – but the Kremlin has targeted residential buildings, and even train stations, to stop people fleeing.