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First responders treat a man at the site of a Russian missile strike on Odesa on March 15, 2024. (State Emergency Service)
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Editor's note: This is a developing story.

A Russian missile strike on Odesa killed 21 people on March 15, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said.

The victims include a paramedic and a first responder who arrived at the scene following the first explosion, according to Odesa Oblast Governor Oleh Kiper.

At least 73 people were injured to various degrees of severity as a result of the attack, the Interior Ministry said. The number of wounded reportedly included at least seven first responders, as well as an unspecified number of police officers.

Klymenko said on March 16 that the death toll had risen to 21 after another wounded person died in the hospital.

Killed victims included Odesa's former deputy mayor, Serhii Tetiukhin, and Oleksandr Hostishchev, the commander of the police special forces battalion Tsunami, according to local council member Andrii Vagapov.

Rescuers immediately arrived at the scene of the impact and began extinguishing the fire, sorting out the debris, and searching for the injured, according to the State Emergency Service. During the operation, Russian forces struck the site again.

Several explosions were reported in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa between 11 and 11:20 a.m. local time, almost immediately after an air raid alert went off in the region.

Russian forces launched Iskander-M ballistic missiles from occupied Crimea, Ukraine's Southern Defense Forces said.

According to the Southern Defense Forces, a three-story recreational building was destroyed by the strike.  

It also damaged other civilian infrastructure, including 10 houses and gas and electricity supply networks.

Over 500 homes in Odesa were left without electricity, and around 800 were left without gas supply following the attack, Kiper said at 6 p.m. local time. The services should be restored the next day, he added.

Emergency services continue working at the scene of the attack.

Kiper announced there will be a day of mourning in Odesa Oblast on March 16.

Russian troops regularly attack the city of Odesa and Odesa Oblast with drones and missiles.

A total of 12 people, including five children, were killed in the March 2 drone attack on an apartment building.

On March 5, Russia attacked Odesa during the visit of President Volodymyr Zelensky and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The missile hit 300-400 meters away from the leaders, Zelensky said.

5 children killed in single attack: ‘We should never forget what Russia did’
Five Ukrainian children were sleeping peacefully in their beds on March 2 when Russia launched the overnight drone attack against their hometown of Odesa that took their lives. Some came from different families but lived in the same apartment building in the southern Ukrainian port city. Instead o…
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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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