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Putin Strikes Back: Russian Missile Attack in Odesa Kills 19 Civilians

Tu-22M3
Tupolev Tu-22M3 taking off at Ryazan Dyagilevo.

Ukrainian authorities say Russian forces conducted missile attacks on residential buildings near the port city of Odesa, killing at least 19 people, including two children.

This comes on the heels of the Russian withdrawal from the small but strategic Snake Island in the Black Sea yesterday. Germany condemned the attack stating that the Russian population has to face the truth of their government’s “cruel” actions.

German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said, “The cruel manner in which the Russian aggressor takes the deaths of civilians in its stride and is again speaking of collateral damages is inhuman and cynical.”

“The Russian population too must finally face up to this truth.”

Russia has denied responsibility for the missile strike. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that “I would like to remind you of the president’s words that the Russian Armed Forces do not strike civilian targets, civilian infrastructure,” when pressed by the media about the attacks.

He added that the Russian military “strikes warehouses of military ammunition, at enterprises where training and repair of military equipment, storage of ammunition, places of concentration, training, and education of mercenaries,” without providing any evidence that the nine-story apartment building was used for military purposes.

By using inaccurate older missiles, Russia is either lying about the targeting of civilian infrastructure, of which there are numerous examples, with kindergartens, schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, etc. being attacked—or they are saying its missile forces are incompetent. Neither is a good look.

Odesa military administration spokesman Sergei Bratchuk said the strike was launched by aircraft that flew in from the Black Sea. Video and still photos showed rescue and emergency workers trying to rescue survivors from the rubble.  The Ukrainian president’s office said three X-22 missiles were fired by Russian bombers.

“A terrorist country is killing our people. In response to defeats on the battlefield, they fight civilians,” Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Ukraine’s Security Service said that 19 people were killed in the airstrike, including two children. It added another 38 people, mainly from the apartment building, including six children and a pregnant woman, were hospitalized with injuries.

One section of a nine-story apartment building was completely destroyed by a missile that struck the village of Serhiivka at 1:00 a.m. local time. Because many of the people opted to spend the nights in the basement of buildings due to indiscriminate Russian air attacks, it is believed that many residents of the apartment building may be trapped. The death toll will probably rise as emergency workers continue the search of the rubble.

Rescue workers were digging through the rubble by hand searching for survivors. Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the Odesa regional administration, said that another missile hit a resort facility nearby, killing at least three people including a child, and wounding another.

Maryna Martynenko, a DSNS, (the Ukrainian state emergency service) spokeswoman in the Odesa region said in a television interview that the fire spread to nearby buildings after the apartment building’s external wall collapsed. About 60 firefighters working on the scene were able to put out that fire.

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for over 11 years. His work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

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Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for PatsFans.com and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

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