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Seven dead, 8 injured in Russian drone attacks on Ukraine’s Odessa

At least seven people have been killed and eight injured in Russia’s latest drone attack on the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa, the authorities said.

The drone attack on Saturday destroyed 18 flats in a nine-storey apartment block, the authorities said.

The bodies of a woman and a three-month-old child were pulled from the rubble, said the governor of the Odessa region, Oleh Kiper, in the evening.

During the day, more bodies had been recovered, including a three-year-old child. Another three-year-old child and a pregnant woman were among the injured, said Kiper.

The hit caused extensive destruction, with rubble strewn over a large area, according to images and videos released by the authorities. Volunteers joined search and rescue efforts to help in the aftermath.

Another person also died in a drone attack in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to the relatives.

He said Ukraine needed a stronger air defence system, a plea he has been issuing for months.

“We need more air defense capabilities from our partners. The Ukrainian air shield must be strengthened in order to effectively protect our people from Russian terror,” he said in a statement posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“More air defense systems and air defense missiles are what saves lives.”

Moscow has bombarded the city on the Black Sea with missiles several times since launching its full-scale war on Ukraine more than two years ago.

“Russia is killing civilians,” the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andrii Yermak, said on Telegram. “We need help to stop this.”

Ukraine’s air defences said that in total, they had shot down 14 drones and a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet during the night.

Ukraine has been calling on its Western allies to provide significantly more air defence support and additional air defence systems for months, to better protect its cities from Moscow’s attacks.

Ukraine has been heavily reliant on Western support in its two-year defence against the Russian invasion.

The pressure is on Kiev after Russia has started to make some gains in recent weeks and test Ukrainian forces on the front line.

Meanwhile, Russia has likely grounded its fleet of A-50 reconnaissance aircraft after Kiev shot down a second one in a short time, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Saturday.

In its daily intelligence report posted X, formerly known as Twitter, the MoD said the aircraft will likely remain grounded while “internal investigations take place surrounding the failure to protect another [high-value] enabler … “

According to military experts, the Kremlin only has around half a dozen operational aircraft of this type that are used to detect enemy aircraft and air defence systems.

The loss of this capability which provides daily command and control to Russian air operations significantly degrades the situational awareness provided to Russian air crews, the MoD said.

Since the beginning of the Russian war against Ukraine a good two years ago, the British Ministry of Defence has published daily information on the course of the war. Moscow accuses London of disinformation.

A general view of destruction following a Russian missile attack. -/Ukrinform/dpa

A general view of destruction following a Russian missile attack. -/Ukrinform/dpa

A general view of destruction following a Russian missile attack. -/Ukrinform/dpa

A general view of destruction following a Russian missile attack. -/Ukrinform/dpa

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