At least 19 people killed when Russian missiles fell near the Ukrainian city of Odessa – National

Russian rocket attacks on residential areas in a coastal town near the Ukrainian port city of Odessa early on Friday killed at least 19 people, authorities said, a day after Russian forces withdrew from a strategically important Black Sea island.

Video of the attack before dawn showed the charred remains of buildings in the small town of Serhiivka, some 50 kilometers southwest of Odessa. The Office of the President of Ukraine said three X-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers hit an apartment building and two campsites.

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“A terrorist country is killing our people. In response to defeats on the battlefield, they fight civilians,” said Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

According to the Ukrainian security service, 19 people died, including two children. Another 38, including six children and a pregnant woman, were hospitalized with injuries. Most of the victims were in the apartment building, Ukrainian emergency officials said.

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The airstrikes followed the withdrawal of Russian forces from Snake Island on Thursday, a move expected to potentially mitigate the threat to nearby Odessa, home to Ukraine’s largest port. The island lies on a busy shipping lane.

Russia took it over in the early days of the war, apparently hoping to use it as a base to attack Odessa. The Kremlin portrayed the withdrawal of Russian troops from Snake Island as a “goodwill gesture” to facilitate the shipment of grain and other agricultural products to Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world.

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The Ukrainian military claimed a barrage from its artillery and missiles forced the Russians to flee in two small speedboats. The exact number of withdrawing troops was not announced.

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The island gained prominence early in the war as a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to Russian invasion. According to reports, a Russian warship there ordered Ukrainian troops to surrender or be bombed. The answer reportedly came back: “Go (expletive) yourself.”

Zelenskyy said that while the withdrawal does not guarantee the security of the Black Sea region, it would “significantly limit” Russian activities there.

“Step by step we will drive (Russia) out of our sea, our land, our sky,” he said in his nightly address.


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Inside the Ukrainian shopping mall decimated by Russian missiles, killing at least 18 people


Inside the Ukrainian shopping mall decimated by Russian missiles, killing at least 18 people

In eastern Ukraine, Russian forces continued their push to encircle the last resistance stronghold in Luhansk, one of two provinces that make up the country’s Donbass region. Moscow-backed separatists have controlled much of the region for eight years.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russians were trying to encircle the city of Lysychansk and were fighting for control of an oil refinery on the outskirts.

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“The shelling of the city is very intense,” Haidai told The Associated Press. “The occupiers are destroying house after house with heavy artillery and other weapons. Residents of Lysychansk hide in basements almost around the clock.”

The offensive has so far failed to disrupt Ukraine’s supply lines, although the main road leading west is not used due to constant Russian shelling, the governor said. “The evacuation is impossible,” he added.

But Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday that Russian and Lugansk separatists had taken control of the refinery, as well as a mine and a gelatin factory in Lysychansk “in the last three days”.


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The blast from a missile attack on a shopping mall in Ukraine throws debris into the park


The blast from a missile attack on a shopping mall in Ukraine throws debris into the park

Ukraine’s Presidential Office said a spate of Russian attacks over the past 24 hours also killed civilians in eastern Ukraine – four in the northeastern region of Kharkiv and another four in Donetsk province.

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Russian bombings killed large numbers of civilians early in the war, including at a hospital and a theater in the port city of Mariupol. Mass casualties seemed increasingly rare as Moscow focused on conquering the entire Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

However, a rocket attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk, a city in central Ukraine, on Monday killed at least 19 people and wounded another 62, authorities said on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday denied that Russian forces had attacked the mall and said his country was not attacking civilian facilities. He claimed that the target in Kremenchuk was a nearby arms depot, echoing statements made by his military officials.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

https://globalnews.ca/news/8961227/russia-missile-attacks-odesa-deaths-ukraine/ At least 19 people killed when Russian missiles fell near the Ukrainian city of Odessa – National

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