The largest Orthodox church in Odessa destroyed by rocket fire

On the night of July 22-23, Odessa was subjected to a massive missile attack, which became a record density for the historic city center. As a result of this attack, the largest Orthodox church in the city, the Transfiguration Cathedral, was seriously damaged. This is reported by the Ukrainian media and monitoring groups.

The Transfiguration Cathedral, built in 1795 and belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, was severely damaged and a fire broke out inside the building. According to the city authorities, they managed to extract the Kasperovsky Icon of the Mother of God from the rubble, which is the patron saint of Odessa. Half of the cathedral lost its roof, foundations and central pillars were destroyed, windows, stucco and interior of the cathedral were destroyed.

One person was killed and 19 injured, including four children, in the night attack. 14 victims were hospitalized. In addition, shelling damaged port infrastructure and dozens of residential buildings, including apartment buildings. Two more architectural monuments in the city were damaged – the House of Scientists and Mikhail Zhvanetsky Boulevard.

The Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reports that it managed to destroy nine out of 19 missiles fired by Russian forces. During the shelling, the Russian Armed Forces used missiles of various types, including Oniks, Kh-22, Kalibr and Iskander-K, as well as two Iskander-M ballistic missiles. Among these missiles, Onyx and Kh-22 are considered especially dangerous and difficult to intercept.

UNESCO, which has recognized the historic center of Odessa as part of its heritage since 2022, condemned the attacks on the city and called for an end to attacks on cultural property protected by international normative documents. The organization also expressed concern about the growing threat to Ukrainian culture due to the ongoing war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the night shelling of Odessa. “Rockets against peaceful cities, against apartment buildings, against the cathedral… There is no excuse for Russian evil. As usual, evil will lose. And in Odessa, there will definitely be an answer to the Russian terrorists. They will feel that response,” he wrote.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Russian Orthodox Church have not yet commented on the destruction of the Transfiguration Cathedral. Russian propagandists began to claim that the cathedral was damaged by air defenses and hit by a Ukrainian missile.

Odessa faced its fifth shelling since July 18. The Russian side explains its attacks on the port infrastructure of southern Ukraine, including Odessa, as “retaliation” for the explosion on the Crimean bridge and failure to fulfill some grain contracts.


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