Russia-Ukraine war live: death toll in Odesa attack rises to 21 as two killed in Ukrainian shelling in border town | World news

Key events

Russian forces launched 10 rockets and 68 aviation strikes, carried out 89 shellings and engaged in 78 combat clashes in Ukraine yesterday, general staff of the Ukrainian armed forcessaid in its morning briefing.

About 100 settlements of Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts came under artillery fire.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian defence forces struck seven areas where Russian personnel were concentrated, and struck down two Shahed attack drones in the Kharkiv oblast.

Death toll in Odesa attack rises to 21

Another state emergency service worker has succumbed to injuries from the Russian ballistic missile attack on Odesa, bringing the total death toll to 21.

The attack on civilian infrastructure was Russia’s deadliest in weeks after Moscow recently increased its strikes on the port city. More than 75 were injured.

“Сьогодні в лікарні від важкого поранення загинув ще один працівник ДСНС України, ще одна жертва вчорашнього російського удару по Одесі”, — повідомив Ігор Клименко.

Таким чином кількість загиблих від удару по Одесі 15 березня зросла до 21.

“Ще понад 70 осіб отримали поранення”

— DSNS.GOV.UA (@SESU_UA) March 16, 2024

More on the Ukrainian attacks on Russia:

A man and a woman died in the attack in Belgorod and three other people were wounded, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram.

Five people were also wounded when a Ukrainian drone hit a car in the village of Glotovo, some 2km (1.25 miles) from the border, Gladkov said.

Also on Saturday, a Ukrainian drone attack caused a fire at an oil refinery belonging to Russian oil giant Rosneft in the Samara region, regional governor Dmitry Azarov said. He said an attack on another refinery was thwarted. No casualties were reported.

The attacks come a day after a Russian assault on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa killed at least 20 people. The ballistic missile attack blasted homes in the southern city on Friday, followed by a second missile that targeted first responders who arrived at the scene, officials said.

Forty people are still in the hospital following the attacks, Odesa regional governor Oleh Kiper said on Saturday.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, promised a “just response” to the attack in a video address Friday evening.

Opening Summary

Welcome to our live coverage on Ukraine. It has just gone noon in Kyiv and 1pm in Moscow. Here are the headlines:

  • Ukrainian shelling of the Russian city of Belgorod, close to the border, killed two people on Saturday, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram.

  • Ukrainian drones struck two Rosneft oil refineries in Russia’s Samara region, leaving one facility on fire on Saturday, the region’s governor said. The Volga river region’s Syzran refinery was on fire, Dmitry Azarov said on Telegram. His comments also confirmed an attack on the Novokubyshev refinery. Workers at both plants had been evacuated and there were no casualties, Azarov claimed.

  • A Russian ballistic missile attack hit civilian infrastructure in Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odesa on Friday, killing at least 20 people – including rescuers – and wounding more than 75 in Moscow’s deadliest attack in weeks, Ukrainian officials said. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, called the attack “vile”. A three-storey recreational facility was destroyed in the attack, as well as at least 10 private houses, the southern military command said. Saturday was declared a local day of mourning.

  • Voters in Russia headed to the polls across the country’s 11 time zones on Friday in a three-day presidential election that is all but certain to extend Vladimir Putin’s 24-year rule until at least 2030. Putin is running against Communist Nikolai Kharitonov, Leonid Slutsky, leader of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, and Vladislav Davankov of the New People party. Two anti-war candidates, Boris Nadezhdin and Yekaterina Duntsova were barred from running by the electoral commission.

  • Voting is also taking place in the four occupied regions of Ukraine which Russia claims to have annexed despite its forces only partially controlling the territory. Ukraine has said the election there is illegal. Speaking at a meeting of Russia’s security council, Putin accused Ukraine of trying to disrupt the voting process and people in the border regions with “a number of criminal armed actions”. Putin said the attempts to break into Russia did not succeed. He said the acts would not go unpunished.

  • Germany’s chancellor, France’s president and Poland’s prime minister met in Berlin and, in a public briefing, said Europe was united and determined in its support for Ukraine. Olaf Scholz, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Tusk also said they would use frozen Russian assets to purchase more weapons for Ukraine on the world market. The meeting follows tensions between France and Germany over Russia.

  • One person was killed by Ukrainian shelling in the Russian city of Grayvoron in the Belgorod region, the governor said on Telegram. Earlier, Russia claimed it had thwarted attempts by Ukraine to stage cross-border raids into the territory, but produced no evidence to support this, while a senior Ukrainian intelligence official claimed that Kursk and Belgorod regions were “active combat zones”.

  • Two people were reported killed and five injured by Russian shelling in northern Ukraine’s Sumy region overnight to Friday, with houses and cars damaged. As well there were missile strikes in the Kharkiv, Poltava and Donetsk regions.

  • The EU is set to agree sanctions on several people seen as involved in the mistreatment and death of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in an Arctic penal colony, three diplomats said on Friday.

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