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Russian Missile Hits Tanker Drifting in Black Sea

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Moldova-flagged chemical tanker Millennial Spirit, which has been drifting in the Black Sea for over four months, was hit by another Russian missile during an air strike on the Odesa region on Thursday.

The 1974-built ship, formerly known as Freyja, was first hit by a navy ship 12 nautical miles south of Ukraine’s Yuzhniy port on February 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine. The crewmembers, all Russian, were rescued, but two of them were seriously wounded in the first attack.

The Ukrainian military branded the ship as an environmental time bomb and blamed the fact that it was drifting without a crew on a Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports.

“Currently, it is likely that the remains of the cargo are burning. At the time of the first hit, the ship carried more than 500 tonnes of diesel fuel,” said Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesman for the Head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, on Telegram.

The ship was one of the first that had been hit by military forces in the opening days of the conflict, including the Turkish-owned bulk carrier Yasa Jupiter and the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Namura Queen.

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