(Moscow) Russian drones hit the Ukrainian port of Odessa on the Black Sea and caused “damage”, local authorities announced early Tuesday.

“The enemy has just hit Odessa and the Odessa district with attacks from UAVs” (unmanned aerial vehicles), the local administration said in a statement posted on Facebook. “There is damage,” she added, without elaborating.

Quoting the head of the Odessa district military administration, Yuriy Kruk, the statement indicates that the air defense forces of Ukraine are at work and warns of the possibility of a second wave of attacks .

Odessa was a favorite vacation destination for many Ukrainians and Russians before the outbreak of the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Odessa has been repeatedly bombarded by Russian forces.

In January, UNESCO placed the historic center of Odessa on the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Earlier Monday, Vladimir Putin signed a decree formalizing the creation of a special assistance fund for soldiers engaged in Ukraine and their families, a new social measure announced by the Russian president in the midst of the conflict which has lasted for more than a year. .

The Russian army has suffered heavy losses since the start of the offensive against its Ukrainian neighbor and following a series of military setbacks, Mr. Putin mobilized from September 300,000 reservists, civilians therefore.

The decree to support the “Defenders of the Fatherland”, according to the official title, was published on the government information portal on Monday.

According to this decree, in addition to the soldiers engaged, the wife or spouse and the children will also be supported by this special fund, the total amount of which has not been communicated.

Vladimir Putin announced the creation of this fund on February 21 in a speech to the Federal Assembly, almost a year to the day after the start of the military intervention in Ukraine.

“Our duty is to support families who have lost loved ones and help them raise their children and give them an education and a job,” he said.

This fund should “provide targeted and personalized aid to the families of fallen combatants, as well as to veterans” of the military intervention in Ukraine, the Russian president also said.

He specified a few days later that this special fund would be directly subordinate to the government.

On March 23, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Michoustin told the Duma that “the fund should start operating across the country in the coming months”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday wanted Vladimir Putin locked in a cellar without a toilet, after visiting a liberated Ukrainian village a year ago, where almost the entire population had been sequestered in a cellar by the Russian occupiers .

Eleven people died in this basement of a school of less than 200 m⁠2 where about 367 of the approximately 400 inhabitants of Yagidné, in northern Ukraine, had been locked up for 27 days in March 2022, according to the head of state.

“All these people were living in total darkness, waiting for the Ukrainians to come back. They wrote [on the walls] the names of those who died and the dates so they wouldn’t be forgotten. And the children marked the words of the Ukrainian anthem,” he said during a ceremony in their honor, accompanied by German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck.

“After seeing this, I wish the Russian president would spend the rest of his life in a basement with a bucket instead of a toilet,” Mr. Zelensky hammered into this village in the Cherniguiv region.

After failing to conquer Kyiv, the Russian army withdrew from northern Ukraine in late March 2022, about a month after the invasion began.

In the towns and villages it had occupied, accusations, often documented, of summary executions, torture, rape and theft multiplied. The Kremlin, as always in this kind of case, denied.

Valéri Polguï, a 38-year-old resident of Yagidné who was locked up in the basement of the school there, recounts the terrible conditions of detention.

“At first it was cold, but then there were more and more people and there was not enough oxygen” in the basement he said.

“Older people would pass out from lack of oxygen, go crazy, and then die,” he recalls.

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will travel to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on Wednesday to discuss securing the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, a spokesman for the agency told AFP on Monday. UN body.

Rafael Grossi is making this visit “as part of his consultations aimed at ensuring the protection” of this site in south-eastern Ukraine occupied by the Russians and where the situation is considered very precarious, he said without giving details. More details.

The head of the IAEA had spent a few hours there last week trying to find a solution acceptable to both Kyiv and Moscow.

After months of fruitless exchanges, the idea of ​​a demilitarized zone around the plant seems to have lived and the priority is now the implementation of “realistic measures” capable of minimizing the risk of nuclear “catastrophe” in this centre, the largest in Europe.

“Military activity is on the rise throughout this region” with in particular a “significant increase in the number of soldiers”, lamented Rafael Grossi, and the occurrence of strikes which lead to repeated power cuts.

The Russian representative in international organizations based in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, quoted by Russian press agencies, confirmed Mr. Grossi’s visit, while considering that there was “still a long way to go” before reach a compromise.

“Every time we play with fire and if we allow this situation to continue, one day our luck will change,” Rafael Grossi warned in early March.

Electricity is essential to run the pumps ensuring the circulation of water. Because it is necessary to constantly cool the fuel in the reactor cores as well as that placed in the storage pools to avoid a meltdown accident and radioactive releases into the environment.