Ukraine war: Russian missile strikes kill 19 in Odesa region – emergency service

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At least 19 people, including one child, have died in overnight Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s southern Odesa region, Ukrainian officials say.

The state emergency service, DSNS, says nearly all of the victims were in a nine-storey building hit by one missile in the village of Serhiyivka.

At least two people, including the child, were killed in a separate strike on a holiday resort in the village.

Russia has fired dozens of missiles on Ukrainian cities in the past few days.

On Friday Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov again denied that Russia was hitting civilian targets.

The DSNS said the missiles hit Serhiyivka at about 01:00 on Friday (22:00 GMT Thursday).

It released footage showing firefighters searching for survivors in the wreckage of the nine-storey building.

They were also seen carrying what looked like the body of one of the victims in a bag.

The DSNS says 38 people, including six children, were injured in the Russian strikes.

Maryna Martynenko, a DSNS spokeswoman in the Odesa region, told Ukrainian TV that the building’s external wall was damaged, and a nearby shop was set ablaze after the strike. Firefighters later put out the fire.

She said 60 rescuers were currently working at the site.

As many as 150 people are believed to have lived in the building.

The child killed at the holiday resort was a 12-year-old boy, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office. He added that three people, including two children, were still under the rubble.

Yulia Bondar, 60, was staying in a building nearby.

“We heard three explosions and now there is nothing left of the recreation centre,” she told the BBC. “The village is very quiet, we never thought this could happen.”

Ms Bondar said few people were at the centre as people tended not to stay there overnight.

Ukrainian officials said three missiles were launched from Russian warplanes over the Black Sea.

Odesa regional administration spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk said Soviet-era X-22 missiles were believed to have been used.

Though the focus of its war effort is in eastern Ukraine, Russia continues to use longer range missiles to target cities right across the country. Last night Odesa region was hit again. It happened soon after Russia’s retreat from Snake Island in the western Black Sea. But the region, like others, has been targeted throughout the war.

Russia claims to be targeting military sites and infrastructure. But in reality it’s often hitting civilian areas – like apartment blocks. For many Ukrainians this seems deliberate, an attempt designed to break the country’s morale. But it can often have the opposite effect, and strengthen Western resolve too. And if Russia really didn’t mean to kill civilians it suggests their weapons are often inaccurate.

The reality is that Russia’s long range missile strikes show a weakness as much as a strength. Most of these strikes are having to be conducted outside Ukrainian air space. Russia still doesn’t have control of the skies. That also means that it is unable to fly surveillance and reconnaissance flights over the country to gather intelligence. Russia has made no secret that it’s trying to target military supply lines from the west. But there’s little evidence it’s had much success – weapons are getting through.

Source: BBC

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