At least 18 dead in Russian missile attack on buildings in Odessa

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Kyiv, Ukraine – Russian rocket attacks on residential buildings in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa early on Friday killed at least 18 people, including two children, 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 Odessa.

Deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kirill Tymoshenko, said 18 people died, including two children. A spokesman for the Odessa regional government, Serhiy Bratchuk, said via the messaging app Telegram that another 30 were injured.

According to Ukrainian news reports, the target of the rocket attack was a multi-storey apartment building and a recreation area.

The attack comes after Russian forces pulled out of Snake Island on Thursday, possibly reducing the threat to Odessa, it was initially thought. But they continued their push to encircle the last resistance stronghold in the eastern province of Luhansk.

The Kremlin portrayed the withdrawal from Snake Island as a “goodwill gesture.” The Ukrainian military claimed it forced the Russians to flee in two small speedboats after a barrage of Ukrainian artillery and rocket attacks. The exact number of troops was not disclosed.

Snake Island is 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. At least 18 dead in Russian missile attack on buildings in Odessa

Dustin Huang

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