April 15th, 2024

Russian missiles kill at least 14 people in the latest strike on southern Ukraine’s Odesa

By Hanna Arhirova, The Associated Press on March 15, 2024.

The hand of a victim lays in a pool of blood after a Russian attack in Odesa, Ukraine, Friday March 15, 2024. A Russian missile strike on Odesa in southern Ukraine on Friday killed at least 14 people and injured 46 others, local officials said. A first missile struck houses and when emergency crews arrived at the scene a second missile landed, authorities said. (AP Photo/Victor Sajenko)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – A Russian missile strike on Odesa in southern Ukraine on Friday killed at least 14 people and injured 46 others, local officials said.

A first missile struck houses and when emergency crews arrived at the scene a second missile landed, authorities said. Among those killed were a paramedic and an emergency service worker.

The attack occurred as Russians voted in a presidential election that is all but certain to extend Vladimir Putin’s rule by another six years after he crushed dissent and as the war in Ukraine stretches into its third year.

At least 10 houses in Odesa and some emergency service equipment were damaged in the attack, which started a blaze, according to Ukraine’s Emergency Service and regional Gov. Oleh Kiper.

The tactic of firing a second missile at the same location, aiming to hit rescuers, is known in military terms as a double tap. Such strikes often hit civilians.

Kiper announced that a day of mourning in Odesa will be held on Saturday – the second such observance in less than two weeks.

On March 2, a Russian drone struck a multi-story building, killing 12 people, including five children.

Since last summer, Russia has intensified its attacks on Odesa, a southern port city with a population of around 1 million residents.

The attacks have primarily targeted port infrastructure, aiming to disrupt the export of goods after Ukraine managed to restore maritime navigation with a series of successful operations in the Black Sea.

Moscow officials have also claimed they are aiming at facilities where Ukrainian sea drones are stored for attacks on Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Overnight, two people were also killed and three wounded in Ukraine’s central Vinnytsia region after Russia struck a building with a drone, according to regional Gov. Serhii Borzov.

The Ukrainian air force said it shot down all 27 Shahed drones that Russia launched over Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad, Mykolaiv, Khmelnytskyi and Kyiv regions.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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