Two children among 21 people killed after missile strikes on Odesa

One rocket hit a nine-storey residential building and another struck a recreation centre, Ukrainian officials say

<p>A firefighter putting out the fire in a residents building hit by a missile strike in the Ukrainian district of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi outside Odesa</p>

A firefighter putting out the fire in a residents building hit by a missile strike in the Ukrainian district of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi outside Odesa

At least 21 people, including two children, have been killed after Russian missiles struck an apartment building and two holiday camps near Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa on Friday morning, Ukrainian authorities have said.

Ukrainian officials told The Independent that at least 18 people perished in the strike on a nine-storey apartment block in the village of Serhiivka, and another three died in a hit on the resort.

A member of Odesa’s military administration said that two children at the resort were in critical condition and the hunt for those who were still missing continued.

In total nearly 40 had been injured, according to Lyubov Hordievska, a spokesperson for Odesa’s regional police force.

A further 41 people have been rescued by the efforts to bring out trapped people from the residential building, where around 152 people live.

Residents were woken by the sound of three explosions and air raid alarms at around 1am local time.

A video of the explosions yesterday morning showed charred remains of the building and smoke filling the sky above residential areas in Serhiivka, which is about 50km southwest of the famed port city.

A member of Odesa’s military administration, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity for security reasons, told The Independent that Russia launched five Kh-22s – long-range anti-ship missiles – at Odesa in total. He said two landed in the sea and one in a field.

The remaining two hit the building and the holiday camp in the Belgorod-Dniester region.

“They knew for sure that there would be civilian casualties” because of the combined target range of the missiles, he said.

“I think we will see more of this in the near future. All recent missile attacks show that Russia is raising the stakes. They have no way back in this war, because they are isolated by the world,” the official added.

Neighbours in the resort village of Serhiivka helped rescuers comb through the rubble of the block of flats. The walls and windows of a neighbouring, 14-storey apartment block had also been damaged by the blast wave.

“We came here to the site, assessed the situation together with emergency workers and locals, and together helped those who survived. And those who unfortunately died. We helped to carry them away,” Oleksandr Abramov, who lives nearby, told Reuters.

The string of pre-dawn bombardments was followed by Russian forces pulling out from nearby Snake Island on Thursday, a move portrayed by the Kremlin as a “goodwill gesture”. Ukraine said its barrage of artillery and missiles had forced the Russians to flee in speedboats.

Rescue workers at the scene of a missile strike at a location given as Serhiivka village

The pullout was expected to ease the threat to Odesa after Moscow took control of the island during the initial days of the war in a bid to use it as a staging ground for an assault on Odesa.

The Odesa military administration official told The Independent that Friday’s attacks might be the result of Russia trying to “show its presence the region” after pulling out of Snake Island.

It comes after Amnesty International accused Russia of committing a “clear war crime” in Ukraine’s coastal city of Mariupol when it launched a deadly airstrike on a theatre where hundreds of civilians were sheltering.

Ukraine said that Russia fired missiles at a crowded shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk on Monday, leaving at least 19 people killed.

Russia has denied targeting civilians since it invaded the country in February.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in