At least 18 reported dead in missile attack on Ukraine’s Odessa

At least 18 reported dead in missile attack on Ukraine’s Odessa

At least 18 people in an apartment building were killed in a Russian missile attack in the Odessa region, according to local Ukrainian officials.

The governor of the Odessa region, Maksym Marchenko, said the strike hit a building near Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi on the Black Sea coast, near the major city of Odessa.

The local military administration said earlier that 10 people had died, with dozens of others injured.

The missile destroyed part of the nine-storey building, the head of the local military administration, Serhii Bratschuk, wrote on Telegram. A fire broke out after the attack.

Ukraine said three missiles in total were fired from a Russian military aircraft over the Black Sea.

The information from the conflict zone could not be independently verified.

Meanwhile the situation in eastern Ukraine around the city of Lysychansk is coming to a head, according to Kiev.

Russian troops are continuing to try and encircle Ukrainian forces from the south and west, the Ukrainian general staff said on Friday morning, with exchanges of fire taking place in the suburbs.

Lysychansk is the last major town in the Luhansk region under Ukrainian control. Russian forces had failed to take control of a supply route connecting it to Bakhmut further west, the report said.

The control of eastern Ukraine – where pro-Russian separatists have declared independence from Kiev – is one of Moscow’s declared war aims since it invaded on February 24.