Russian missiles kill 20 in strikes on Odesa apartments, recreation center, Ukraine says

LONDON — Russian missiles struck an apartment building near the Ukrainian city of Odesa early on Friday, leaving at least 20 people — including a child — dead, officials said.

The overnight attack targeted the small town of Serhiivka, located about 30 miles southwest of the major Black Sea port city. Authorities said 16 civilians were killed in an apartment block, while four were found dead in a recreational center.

Rescuers evacuate the body of a person from a destroyed building that was hit by a missile strike in the Ukrainian town of Serhiivka, near Odesa, killing at least 20 people and injuring 30, on Friday.
Rescuers evacuate a body from a destroyed building that was hit by a missile strike in the Ukrainian town of Serhiivka on Friday. (Oleksandr Giminov/AFP via Getty Images)

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Telegram that at least 38 others were injured, including six children and a pregnant woman. All 38 civilians have been hospitalized, the official added.

Video footage posted online appears to show the charred remains of the recreational building while emergency workers search for survivors among the debris.

Speaking outside the ruins of the apartment block, Ukrainian First Deputy Interior Minister Yevhenii Yenin said rescue operations were continuing but that officials “don’t expect to find anyone alive.” He added that there were no military targets located near the areas that were attacked.

A damaged residential building is seen in Odesa, Ukraine, early Friday, following Russian missile attacks.
A damaged residential building in Odesa early Friday, following Russian missile attacks. (Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Russia had targeted civilians. “I would like to remind you of the president’s words that the Russian armed forces do not work with civilian targets,” Peskov said.

The attack followed a missile strike on a shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday that killed more than 20 people.

Zelensky released CCTV footage on Tuesday apparently showing a Russian missile striking the mall with an estimated 1,000 people inside.

The clip, shown during Zelensky’s nightly address to the nation, appears to show a missile hitting a large building site before it bursts into flames. Zelensky accused Russia of wanting to “kill as many people as possible” and called the strike “one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history.”