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Russian missiles kill 20 near Odesa – Ukraine

At least 20 people, including one child, have died in overnight Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s southern Odesa region, Ukrainian officials say.

The state emergency service, DSNS, says 16 people were killed in a nine-storey building hit by one missile in the village of Serhiyivka.

Another four people, including the child, were killed in a separate strike on a holiday resort in the village.

Russia has fired dozens of missiles on Ukrainian cities in the past few days.

On Friday Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov again denied that Russia was hitting civilian targets.

Rescuers comb through the rubble in Serhiyivka, Odesa region, on 1 July 2022
Ukrainian rescuers were searching for more survivors at the bombed site (UKRAINE’S DSNS EMERGENCY SERVICE)

The DSNS said the missiles hit Serhiyivka at about 01:00 on Friday (22:00 GMT Thursday).

It released footage showing firefighters searching for survivors in the wreckage of the nine-storey building.

They were also seen carrying what looked like the body of one of the victims in a bag.

The DSNS says 38 people, including six children, were injured in the Russian strikes.

Maryna Martynenko, a DSNS spokeswoman in the Odesa region, told Ukrainian TV that the building’s external wall was damaged, and a nearby shop was set ablaze after the strike. Firefighters later put out the fire.

She said 60 rescuers were currently working at the site.

As many as 150 people are believed to have lived in the building.

The child killed at the holiday resort was a 12-year-old boy, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office. He added that three people, including two children, were still under the rubble.

Yulia Bondar, 60, was staying in a building nearby.

“We heard three explosions and now there is nothing left of the recreation centre,” she told the BBC. “The village is very quiet, we never thought this could happen.”

Ms Bondar said few people were at the centre as people tended not to stay there overnight.

Ukrainian officials said three missiles were launched from Russian warplanes over the Black Sea.

Odesa regional administration spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk said Soviet-era X-22 missiles were believed to have been used.

Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, accused Russia of being a “terrorist country”.

“In response to defeats on the battlefields, they [Russians] are waging a war on civilians,” he said.

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