A minimum of six folks have been killed when two cruise missiles struck a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the Black Sea port metropolis of Odesa on Saturday, Ukrainian officers mentioned. Given the extent of the harm, officers mentioned the variety of victims was sure to climb.
“There will probably be extra,” Sergei Nazarov, an aide to Odesa’s mayor, mentioned in a textual content message.
He mentioned the missiles struck a residential neighborhood within the Tairove district within the far west of the town. Images and video from the scene, together with these posted to the town authorities’s Telegram channel, appeared to indicate intensive harm to a big housing complicated, which was partially obscured by plumes of thick, black smoke.
“All of that is whereas peaceable Odesa was getting ready for Easter Sunday,” the mayor of Odesa, Gennady Trukhanov, mentioned in an announcement posted to the town’s Telegram channel. Orthodox Christians, who make up the bulk in Ukraine, have fun Easter this Sunday, and a few within the Ukrainian navy had anticipated, or hoped, that there is likely to be some letup within the shelling.
A minimum of 18 have been wounded within the strike, in response to Andriy Yermak, the pinnacle of the presidential administration. He mentioned a three-month-old child was among the many lifeless.
The missile assault on Odesa comes a day after a Russian common outlined what gave the impression to be a broad new set of navy aims, together with the seizure of all Ukrainian lands alongside the Black Sea, together with Odesa.
Whereas taking Odesa had gave the impression to be a serious purpose of the Russian navy on the outset of the battle, efforts by Russian forces to march westward alongside the shoreline have been hindered by fierce Ukrainian resistance and logistical points. The sinking this month of the Moskva, a warship in Russia’s Black Sea fleet, appeared to place an finish to hypothesis that Moscow might mount an amphibious assault on the town.
Prior to now, Russian forces have launched rocket assaults in opposition to Odesa and the encircling area by each air and sea, however these strikes have largely been aimed toward navy targets and strategic infrastructure. Till Saturday, Odesa had been largely spared the high-casualty assaults on civilians suffered by different Ukrainian cities.
Saturday’s assault was carried out by a Russian Tu-95 strategic bomber flying over the Caspian Sea, in response to an announcement by Ukraine’s southern air protection forces. It mentioned the bomber fired six cruise missiles, two of which have been taken out by Ukraine’s missile protection system.
“Sadly two missiles hit navy targets and two hit residential properties,” the assertion mentioned, including that Ukrainian forces additionally destroyed two Russian drones that have been getting used to assist goal the missiles.
Russia’s Protection Ministry later mentioned that it had fired “high-precision long-range” missiles at a logistics terminal at a navy airfield close to Odesa, which it mentioned was storing weapons supplied by america and European international locations.
Ukraine’s overseas minister, Dmytro Kuleba, described the missile strikes as a terrorist assault.
“The one intention of Russian missile strikes on Odesa is terror,” Mr. Kuleba wrote on Twitter. “We’d like a wall between civilization and barbarians placing peaceable cities with missiles.”