Russia bombarded the Black Sea port city of Odessa for a second straight night with drones and missiles, triggering loud and prolonged explosions early Wednesday in what Ukrainian officials said was an attack on grain terminals and other critical infrastructure that Ukraine needs to ship food to the world. . .

Ukraine’s air force said it was one of the largest ongoing airstrikes against Odessa, the country’s largest port, and that several waves of missiles and drones were launched at other cities overnight. Smoke was seen rising over Odessa’s main port as dawn broke.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials called the attack part of a Russian effort to resume its de facto blockade of the Black Sea, after Moscow withdrew from a United Nations-brokered deal that allowed Ukrainian grain ships to export food. Russian missiles also hit Odessa on Tuesday in what Moscow claimed was retaliation for an attack on a crucial bridgehead to occupied Crimea.

“Russian terrorists have deliberately targeted the infrastructure of the grain deal, and every Russian missile is a blow not only to Ukraine, but to everyone in the world who wants a normal and safe life,” Mr Zelensky said on the Telegram messaging app on Wednesday.

At least 30 cruise missiles and 32 attack drones were fired at targets across the country, mainly from the Black Sea, The Air Force of Ukraine said. Ukraine said it captured 14 of the missiles and 23 of the drones.

“It was a hellish night,” Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odesa regional military administration, said in a video message posted on social media. He called the attack “very powerful, really massive” and said it may have been the biggest attack on the city since Russia’s full-scale invasion began.

In Odessa, one captured missile caused a large explosion, the blast wave damaged several buildings and injured civilians, according to the Ukrainian military. Port infrastructure, including a grain and oil terminal, tanks and cargo equipment were damaged, the military said. Tobacco and fireworks warehouses were also hit, according to the military. The Odessa city government said 10 people needed medical help, including a 9-year-old boy.

On the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, a fire at a military training ground prompted the evacuation of at least 2,000 residents and the closure of a highway, according to Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed head of Crimea.

Smoke and flames rise from an explosion at a military training ground in Crimea on Wednesday.Credit…Reuters

The flare-up of tensions around the Black Sea follows Monday’s explosion in the Kerch Strait, linking Crimea to Russia. The bridge, a strategically important link to supply Russian troops in southern Ukraine, was damaged in an apparent Ukrainian attack by naval drones.

Moscow denied the strikes were related to the scrapped grain deal, saying Tuesday they were a “massive retaliatory strike” against facilities used to manufacture drones used in attacks against Russia.

The Kremlin issued threats on Tuesday against Kiev trying to continue shipments of food through the Black Sea, with its spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, saying: “Certain risks appear there without adequate security guarantees.”

Russia also launched a wave of drones on Wednesday at Kiev, the capital, but all were destroyed by the city’s air defenses, said Serhiy Popko, the head of the city’s military administration.

Russia’s success in hitting critical infrastructure at the ports around Odessa reflected the difficulties Ukraine faces in trying to protect cities while also securing critical infrastructure, military equipment and troop concentrations.

“We can cover Odesa ports, Kyiv region, Dnipro, Lviv,” Yurii Ihnat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, said in an appearance on Ukrainian television. “But we cannot block all the directions from which missiles are flying into Ukraine.”

The concentrated attacks on Odessa were especially difficult for Ukraine because of the types of missiles deployed by Russia and the tactics it uses to evade air defenses. Mr. Ihnat said the Russians fired Kh-22 cruise missiles on a ballistic trajectory, making them extremely fast and difficult to shoot down, especially when launched from relatively close range. At the same time, he said, drones were used in large numbers to wear out air defense systems, making it difficult to track the more powerful missiles.

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