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Death toll rises to 10 in Russian drone strike on Ukraine’s Odesa | Russia-Ukraine war News

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Three children killed in the attack, officials say, as Zelenskyy calls on the West to boost Ukraine’s air defences.

The death toll from a Russian drone strike that destroyed an apartment block in Ukraine’s southern port city of Odesa on Saturday has risen to 10.

Ukraine’s interior ministry reported that rescue workers on Sunday morning retrieved the remains of an infant and the baby’s mother, raising the number of children killed in the attack to three.

“The mother tried to cover the 8-month-old child with her own [body]. She tried to save them. They were found in a firm embrace,” the ministry said in a Telegram post.

On Saturday, Ukrainian authorities reported that a baby was among those killed after falling debris from an Iranian-made Shahed drone hit the apartment building – one of eight Russian-launched drones reported by officials.

Russia has launched several thousand of these long-range winged drones throughout the war at targets across Ukraine.

Later on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that a second child had also died.

“Tymofiy was 4 months old. Mark was about to turn 3 years old. My condolences to all of their close ones,” Zelenskyy wrote on X.

He added that a three-year-old girl and seven other people were injured in the attack.

Ukraine
A general view shows an apartment building heavily damaged by a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine on March 2, 2024 [Reuters/Stringer]

Search for survivors

Four more people may be trapped in the rubble in Odesa, the local branch of Ukraine’s main emergency service said in a Facebook update on Sunday.

Local Governor Oleh Kiper said that rescue workers continue to comb through the site, and regional authorities announced a day of mourning for the victims.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, regional authorities reported that a 58-year-old man died under rubble after Russian forces shelled his village in the southern Kherson province.

Another civilian man, aged 38, was killed in a Russian artillery strike on the neighbouring Zaporizhia region, local Governor Ivan Fedorov said.

Zelenskyy seeks air defences

Zelenskyy called on Western allies to boost Ukraine’s air defences in the wake of the deadly attack.

“Delays in the delivery of weapons to Ukraine, as well as air defence to protect our people, unfortunately result in such losses. … Ukraine has never requested anything more than what is necessary to protect lives,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine is currently struggling for resources as the war grinds into its third year with a $60bn aid package held up in the United States Congress.

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