Russia knocks out Odesa runway, Zelenskiy says it will be rebuilt

April 30 (Reuters) – A Russian missile strike on Saturday knocked out the newly-constructed runway at the main airport in the Ukrainian city of Odesa, a strategic Black Sea port, military and civilian officials said.

“The Odesa airport runway was destroyed. We will, of course, rebuild it. But Odesa will never forget Russia’s behavior towards it,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a late night address.

Odesa regional governor Maksym Marchenko said Russia had used a Bastion missile, launched from Crimea.

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“Thank God no one was hurt. Anti-sabotage measures are being carried out in the region,” he said in a video posted online.

Odesa mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov said it had taken 10 years to design and build the new runway, which was formally opened last July.

“Thanks to the new runway we were expecting a colossal influx of tourists from all over the world. Instead, we got a rocket strike,” he said on Facebook.

“But Odesa is not a city which surrenders to difficulties. We will absolutely restore the runway after our victory and even more tourists will come to us.”

Russia’s military has not yet confirmed the strike.

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Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Chris Reese

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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