Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited the troops fighting the invading Russian army in the south. He’s met with military personnel defending the Black Sea region of Mykolaiv and Odessa near the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. The president also went to the former Mykolaiv regional administration headquarters, which was destroyed by Russian bombing, which also killed 37 people there. A port and industrial city with almost half a million inhabitants before the war, Mykolaiv remained under Ukrainian control, but is close to the Kherson region, which is almost entirely occupied by the Russians. The city is an important target for Moscow, because it is on the way to Odessa, the largest port in Ukraine, located only 130 kilometers south of the Republic of Moldova (ex-Soviet, mostly Romanian-speaking) and before the blockade imposed by the Russian military fleet , the main outlet for Ukrainian grain exports. „Russia has turned the Black Sea into a war zone by blocking shipments of grain and fertilizers from Ukraine,” and has limited its own exports, said European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, who accused Moscow of „blackmail.” In eastern Ukraine, in the Donbas coal basin, heavy fighting continues for the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysiciansk. Kyiv officials say they fear that their country could be attacked again and again from the north, on the territory of Belarus, one of Russia’s most docile allies.