Russian shellings intensify on Ukraine

Russian drone strike destroyed an apartment block in Odesa, killing at least 11 people on Saturday. Amid the rubble, a young woman clutching an infant were found. Both dead. Authorities said they were found 'in a firm embrace.'

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March 5, 2024 - 1:30 PM

Ukrainian servicemen take their position in a trench at the front line, near Bakhmut, Ukraine, Sunday, March 3, 2024. Photo by (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western allies to boost Ukraine’s air defenses after a Russian drone strike destroyed an apartment block in the southern port city of Odesa and killed at least 11 people.

Officials on Sunday said the bodies of a boy — and a young woman clutching an infant — were pulled from Saturday’s rubble.

“The mother tried to cover the 8-month-old child with her own (body). She tried to save them. They were found in a firm embrace,” said a Telegram post published on the interior ministry’s official channel. Separately, the governor of the Odesa region, Oleh Kiper, said the other child was 10.

On Saturday, Ukrainian authorities said another baby was among those killed after falling debris from an Iranian-made drone hit the building — one of eight Russian drones reported by officials. Later that day, Zelenskyy said a second child aged 2 had also died.

“Delays in the delivery of weapons to Ukraine, as well as air defense to protect our people, unfortunately result in such losses,” Zelenskyy wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

More people may still be trapped, the Odesa branch of Ukraine’s main emergency service said on Facebook. Kiper said rescue workers continued to comb through the site.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, regional authorities reported that a 58-year-old man died under rubble after Russian forces overnight shelled his village in the southern Kherson province. Another civilian man, 38, was killed in a Russian artillery strike in the neighboring Zaporizhzhia region, local Gov. Ivan Fedorov said.

On Sunday, Gov. Vadim Filashkin said a Russian airstrike on the eastern town of Kurakhove wounded 16 people and damaged 15 high-rise apartment blocks.

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