Rescue workers search through rubble after at least 10 people killed in Odesa in air strike

Officials said the body of a woman and her eight-month-old daughter were found on Sunday and that four other people may still be in the ruins left by the attack in the early hours of Saturday

Ukrainian rescue workers continued searching through the rubble of an apartment block in the southern city of Odesa on Sunday after at least 10 people, including three children, were killed in a Russian drone strike.

Officials in the Black Sea port said the body of a woman and her eight-month-old daughter were found on Sunday and that four other people may still be in the ruins left by the attack in the early hours of Saturday, which Kyiv said involved one of hundreds of explosive-laden “Shahed” drones supplied to Russia by Iran.

“The rescue operation at the site of the Russian Shahed strike is ongoing. A total of 215 people are on the scene, including rescuers, police and utility workers. I am grateful to every volunteer who helps,” said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“So far, 10 people have been reported killed, including three children: Mark, who was about to turn three, Yelyzaveta, who was eight months old and Tymofiy, who was four months. Russia has made Ukrainian children its military targets. That is who these beasts are fighting,” he added.


“The world must respond to every manifestation of Russian evil and repel Russia’s actions. Every Russian terrorist act that the world ignores enables Russia to continue killing. We must win this war. It is only Ukrainian strength that can ensure normal life for Ukrainians.”

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said the latest Russian attacks on Odesa and other cities underlined his country’s urgent need for more ammunition from its allies, as Republicans in the US Congress continue to block US military aid for Kyiv and European states struggle to increase arms production and meet deliveries already pledged to Ukraine.

“Russia acts every time the West fails to act…For every undelivered air defence platform, Russia responds with hundreds of missiles and drones attacking cities in Ukraine. For every round exported from Europe instead of being sent to Ukraine, Russia grabs another square metre of European land,” he said on social media.

“Invest in production, purchase and ban (ammunition) exports outside of Europe now. The goal is not to act ‘as long as it takes’ but ‘as quick and as much as it takes.’ Deliver!”

Russia said its forces shot down 38 Ukrainian drones early on Sunday over Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that it illegally annexed from Kyiv 10 years ago.

Neither side said if the attack had caused damage or casualties in Crimea, where Ukrainian aerial and marine drone strikes have sunk several ships of the Russian navy’s Black Sea Fleet and damaged others in recent months.

Ukrainian air force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said air defence units shot down a Russian fighter jet near the eastern front line on Saturday, bringing to about 14 the number of enemy warplanes Ukraine claims to have destroyed in about two weeks.

Analysts say both sides are now risking more in the air war – Russia by sending jets on more dangerous sorties to exploit recent gains on the battlefield, and Ukraine by deploying advanced air defence systems nearer the front line.

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Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin is a contributor to The Irish Times from central and eastern Europe