World, Europe

Mine-infested coast of Ukraine's Odesa city poses threat to civilians

Blaming Russia for mining Black Sea, Ukrainian authorities advise locals to stay away from Odesa's coast

Davit Kachkachishvili   | 04.07.2022
Mine-infested coast of Ukraine's Odesa city poses threat to civilians Ukrainian citizens try to live normally despite the continuous bombing that the region is suffering and the danger of a Russian attack on the city in Odesa, Ukraine on May 20, 2022. ( Adri Salido - Anadolu Agency )

ODESA, Ukraine

The mine-infested coast of Ukraine’s Odesa city is posing another threat to the war-weary locals who want to swim at the beach.

Although the summer season kicked off in the war-torn country, the local authorities warned the residents not to swim off Odesa's mine-filled coast, encircling the beach with a safety strip as an indicator of the mine threat.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Nataliya Gumenyuk, the head of the Press Service of Ukraine's Southern Defense Forces said: "The mines have been at sea since March. Russia laid these mines in the Black Sea."

Gumenyuk said when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, it “stole” Ukrainian sea mines with inscriptions in Ukrainian. She claimed that Russia planted these mines into the sea in 2022 and blamed Ukraine for it.

“Russia did so because when these mines appeared in Türkiye or Romania, it would be assumed that they belonged to Ukraine. This is sabotage. Ukraine did not lay mines in the sea. We have already explained this," she added.

Claiming that the Russian submarines were at a dangerous distance from the shore, she said missiles launched from Russian ships hit the cities of Ukraine.

The mines in the Black Sea pose a great danger not only to the ships but also to the people, she underlined, adding that two people swimming off the coast have been killed and one has been injured so far.

Situation in Odesa

With a population of over a million, Odesa, also known as the "Pearl of the Black Sea," is relatively quiet compared to other cities in the war-weary country.

Regarding the current situation in Odesa, Gumenyuk said: "The situation in Odesa and the region is calm and under the control of Ukrainian armed forces."

She pointed out that although Snake Island, within the region's borders, was brought under the control of the Ukrainian forces, all Ukrainians in the region must be careful and follow the security warnings.

"The Russians have warships carrying missiles in the Black Sea. Their target is not only Odesa but all of Ukraine. The technical characteristics of the missiles allow them to reach all regions of Ukraine," she warned.

Noting that Ukraine’s struggle against Russia is extremely important for Europe too, she said: "Today, we are fighting not only to defend our own lands and people but to protect Europe and the whole world."

She claimed the Russian warplanes continue to pose a significant threat, adding that the Ukrainian forces need weapons against air attacks.

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