11 dead from Russian drone strike on Ukrainian port city

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Western allies to boost Ukraine's air defenses in the wake of the deadly attack.
Emergency workers on site of a destroyed multi-store building after a Russian attack on residential neighborhood in Ukraine
Posted at 1:02 PM, Mar 03, 2024

The death toll rose to 11 on Sunday from a Russian drone strike that destroyed an apartment block in Ukraine's southern port city of Odesa the previous day when a local official reported the bodies of two more children and a young mother were pulled from the rubble.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Western allies to boost Ukraine's air defenses in the wake of the deadly attack.

Oleh Kiper, governor of the Odesa region, on Sunday afternoon reported that the body of a 10-year-old boy named Serhii was found amid the debris. Hours earlier, Ukraine's interior ministry reported that rescue workers retrieved the remains of a woman clutching an infant.

"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," said a Telegram post published on the ministry's official channel.

On Saturday, Ukrainian authorities reported that another baby was among those killed after falling debris from an Iranian-made drone hit the apartment building — one of eight Russian drones reported by officials. Later that day, 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 in English on X, formerly known as Twitter. He added that a 3-year-old girl and seven other people were injured in the attack.

"Delays in the delivery of weapons to Ukraine, as well as air defense to protect our people, unfortunately result in such losses. ... Ukraine has never requested anything more than what is necessary to protect lives," Zelenskyy wrote.

More people may still be trapped in the rubble, the Odesa branch of Ukraine's main emergency service said in a Facebook update Sunday. 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 overnight shelled his village in the southern Kherson province. Another civilian man, aged 38, was killed in a Russian artillery strike on the neighboring Zaporizhzhia region, local Gov. Ivan Fedorov said.

On Sunday afternoon, Donetsk regional Gov. Vadim Filashkin reported that a Russian airstrike on the eastern town of Kurakhove wounded 16 people and damaged 15 high-rise apartment blocks.