KIEV/ODESSA, Ukraine, June 10 (Reuters) – Russia fired missiles and drones at targets across Ukraine in the early hours of Saturday, killing three civilians in the Black Sea city of Odessa and striking a military airfield in the region. Poltava, in the center of the country. Kyiv authorities said.
The attacks, in which a 29-year-old was also killed in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, according to officials, were the latest in a series of overnight strikes that Russia has intensified as Kiev has its sights set on a major counterattack.
The Air Force said the attacks included eight ground-based missiles and 35 drones. It added that the air defense units managed to shoot down 20 drones and two cruise missiles.
“As a result of air combat, the wreckage of one of the drones fell on a high-rise apartment, causing a fire,” said Natalia Homenyuk, spokeswoman for the Southern Military Command, about the attack on Odessa.
Footage released by the army showed that firefighters battled through the night to put out the blaze in the 10-storey building in a residential area of the city.
A Reuters photographer said morning light revealed a hole in the ground several meters wide next to the damaged building and a children’s playground.
Authorities said three people were killed, including a married couple who lived on the eighth floor of the building and a man who was outside at the time of the attack.
Emergency services said at least 27 other people, including three children, were injured.
The first drone strike came around midnight and three more drones followed. Sirens went off frequently through the night.
The region’s governor said Russia had also fired drones, ballistic and cruise missiles into the Poltava region, causing “some damage to the infrastructure and equipment” at the Mirhorod military airport.
Ten drones attacked two districts in the Kharkiv region, which borders Russia and also back to the front line, injuring a 39-year-old man and killing another person, Governor Oleh Sinhopov.
Ukraine’s governor, Serhiy Lysak, said Ukraine had also shot down two drones over the Dnipropetrovsk region, where no damage was reported.
(Reporting by Tom Palmforth). Edited by Frances Kerry
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