Seven killed in Russian drone attack on Odesa: Ukraine

The drone hit an apartment block in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa

By REUTERS
March 03, 2024
Rescuers work at the site of a heavily damaged multi-story apartment building inOdesa. — AFP/File

ODESA, Ukraine: A Russian drone attack that killed seven people including an infant and a two-year-old on Saturday could have been avoided if Ukraine was not facing delays to weapons supplies, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.

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The drone hit an apartment block in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa.

Zelenskiy said Russian attacks using Iranian-supplied Shahed drones “make no military sense” and were intended only to kill and intimidate.

“The world knows that terror can be opposed,” he said in his nightly video address. “Delaying the supply of weapons to Ukraine, missile defence systems to protect our people, leads, unfortunately, to such losses.”

Zelenskiy named the youngest victims of the attack as four-month-old Tymofiy and Mark, aged two.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said the infant was found dead alongside his mother and posted a photograph of a rescue worker next to a bloodied blanket, a baby’s arm visible on one side and an adult arm extending out the other.

Eight people were wounded, including a three-year-old girl. Rescuers continued to search for more people under the debris, Zelenskiy said.

Smoke poured from rubble strewn across the ground where the drone had ripped a chunk several storeys high out of the building.

“My husband quickly ran out to help people ... then I saw people running out and I understood people had died in there,” said Svitlana Tkachenko, who lives in a neighbouring building.

Clothes and furniture were scattered in the ruined mass of concrete and steel hanging off the side of the apartment block.

“Russia continues to fight civilians ... One of the enemy drones hit a residential building in Odesa. Eighteen apartments were destroyed,” Zelenskiy said in an earlier Telegram post.

Ukraine’s State Emergencies Service posted photos including of a dead toddler being placed in a body bag by rescuers. “This is impossible to forget. This is impossible to forgive,” it said in a statement. It said five people, including a child, had been rescued alive.

Zelenskiy said the drone was a Shahed, supplied by Iran. Several thousand of the long-range winged drones have been fired at targets inside Ukraine since Moscow’s full-scale invasion two years ago.

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