Russian missiles struck on Odesa residential area kill at least 18, says Ukraine
At least 18 people have been killed after two Russian missiles struck a multi-storey apartment building and a recreation centre in the southern port city of Odesa in the early hours of Friday, Ukrainian officials have said.
Ukraine’s armed forces issued an alert urging residents to seek shelter after three explosions and air raid alarms were heard shortly before 1am local time.
Odesa’s military spokesperson, Sergei Bratchuk, added that an “enemy missile” had struck the southern port city in an update posted to his official Telegram channel shortly before 2am. “Unfortunately, there are casualties,” he said.
Bratchuk later said the missile attack was carried out by “strategic aircraft” from the direction of the Black Sea. “One rocket hit a nine-storey residential building, the other – in a recreation centre in the Belgorod-Dniester region,” he said.
Three people – including a child – were killed in a separate attack on the recreation centre, with one injured, said the SES.
The Guardian could not immediately confirm details of the incident.
Earlier this week, two Russian X-22 cruise missiles hit a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday afternoon, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.
The Ukrainian defence ministry said the attack was deliberately timed to coincide with the shopping centre’s busiest hours and cause the maximum number of casualties. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said more than 1,000 people were inside the building at the time of the strike.
The attack comes after Ukrainian forces pushed Russian forces from Snake Island, a strategic Black Sea island off the southern coast near the city of Odesa.
Russia portrayed the pullout from Snake Island as a “goodwill gesture”. Ukraine’s military said the Russians fled the island in two speedboats after a barrage of Ukrainian artillery and missile strikes.