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At least 20 dead in one of the deadliest Russian attacks in Odessa

Photo: Ukrainian emergency service Agence France-Presse Rescue workers try to put out a fire after the Russian bombing.

Oleksandr Gimanov – Agence France-Presse in Odessa

4:40 p.m.

  • Europe

At least 20 people were killed and 70 injured Friday in one of the worst Russian missile attacks on Odessa, a major port city in southern Ukraine that has already been targeted twice in recent days.

President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced an “absolutely despicable attack” carried out using two missiles, the second of which struck “just as rescuers and medics were arriving at the attack site “.

This double strike left 20 dead, according to the emergency services, and 73 injured, according to the latest report provided on Facebook by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Andriï Kostin.

“Residents, an ambulance driver and a rescue worker” were among those killed, regional governor Oleg Kiper had recently declared on Telegram. At least eight emergency service workers were injured, the prosecutor previously said.

The town hall declared a day of mourning on Saturday following this attack, one of the deadliest on Odessa since the start of the Russian invasion two years ago.

According to the Ukrainian military, Russian forces fired “Iskander ballistic missiles from Crimea,” annexed by Russia in 2014. There were two consecutive strikes on the same site, the Ukrainian military said. emergency situations service.

After the first missile strike damaged civilian infrastructure and caused a fire, rescuers arrived and began to “extinguish the fire, clear the rubble and search for victims” when “the enemy launched another missile attack,” the emergency service explained.

“Our paramedic is dead. Serioja, a good guy,” Alik, a driver, told AFP. “We were the first to arrive there [after the first strike]. The rescuer was helping the injured. And then there was a second strike. Our ambulance was damaged,” he continued.

In images released by Ukrainian emergency services, we can see injured rescuers, their faces stained with blood and dust, helped by their colleagues.

“Russian Roulette”

“We all live in Russian roulette” with the risk of being killed at any moment, added Maria Slyzovska, a resident of the affected neighborhood.

This is the third deadly attack on Odessa since the beginning of March.

On March 3, a drone strike on an apartment building killed 12 people, including five children, and on March 6 a bombing killed five people, at a time when President Zelensky and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis were traveling in this city.

In recent months, Russia has increased attacks on the city and its port, an essential platform for Ukrainian grain exports in the Black Sea via a maritime corridor established by Kiev after Moscow's exit from a agreement which allowed Ukraine to export its production.

This Friday, the day Russians began voting for a presidential election that Vladimir Putin is sure to win, Moscow and Kiev also reported civilians killed in mutual artillery and drone attacks during the night.

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In the Russian region of Belgorod, bordering Ukraine, a civilian and a fighter were killed and two civilians injured in Ukrainian bombings, announced the governor of this territory, Vyacheslav Gladkov.

Russian pro-kyiv fighters have launched incursions into several Russian regions in recent days. The Russian army assured on Friday that it had pushed them all back.

Intense attacks in the east

The occupation authorities installed by Moscow claimed in the morning that three children had died in nighttime Ukrainian bombings in Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia .

Ukrainian police, for their part, announced that Russian drone attacks during the night had caused the death of a couple and injured two teenagers in the Vinnytsia region (central-west) , more than 400 kilometers from the front line.

In southern Ukraine, a 76-year-old woman died in a Russian bombing of the Zaporizhia region, the regional administration stressed.

The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armies, Oleksandr Syrsky, said Friday that Russia had “concentrated its main efforts” around Avdiivka, a town taken from the Ukrainians in February, and had been trying “for several days to break through the Ukrainian defense” there. .

At the same time, the Ukrainian center responsible for prisoners of war announced that it had recovered the remains of 100 soldiers who fell at the front.

This type of exchange, as well as that of captive soldiers, constitutes one of the last areas in which Moscow and kyiv have cooperated since the start of the invasion.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116