Deadly Russian missile strikes hit southern and eastern Ukraine on June 14 as Ukrainian air defenses fought back against Moscow’s intensified attacks.
Russia fired four Kalibr missiles on southern port city Odesa from a ship in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s air force said, with air defenses shooting down three of them.
One of the missiles hit a food warehouse, killing three employees and wounding seven, Oleg Kiper, the head of the region’s military administration, said on Telegram.
“There may be people under the rubble,” he added.
Six other people were wounded after a business center, shops and a residential complex in the city center were damaged “as a result of air combat and the blast wave,” he said.
A historic city on the Black Sea, Odesa was once a favorite holiday destination for many Ukrainians and Russians. It has been bombed several times since Russia invaded in February last year.
In January, the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO designated the historic center of the city as a World Heritage in Danger site.
In the eastern cities of Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka, Russian missile strikes overnight killed three people and destroyed dozens of private houses, the head of Donetsk region’s military administration said.
Moscow has intensified its nightly attacks on major Ukrainian cities in recent weeks while Kiev has launched a long-awaited counter-offensive to reclaim territory occupied by Russian forces.
Ukraine said on June 14 that in the last three days Kiev has retaken around three square kilometers of territory and advanced in some areas as deep as 1.4 kilometers, while fighting continues near recaptured villages.
The latest strikes came as the death toll from June 13’s attack on Kryviy Rih, the hometown of President Volodymyr Zelensky, rose to 12.
Authorities in the southeast Dnipropetrovsk region which includes Kryvyi Rih also reported a fresh Russian drone attack overnight.
“All three ‘Shaheds’ were shot down in the sky over the region,” regional governor Serhiy Lysak said on Telegram, referring to the Iranian attack drones Russia uses.
While Ukraine says it was making gains after launching its counter-offensive, Putin on June 13 claimed his forces were inflicting “catastrophic” losses on their opponents.
Putin conceded during a Kremlin meeting that Russian forces were suffering from diminishing stockpiles of some military equipment, pointing in particular to attack drones and missiles.
Kiev quickly fired back insisting Ukraine’s push, bolstered with Western weapons and training, had “certain gains, implementing our plans, moving forward.”
According to military analysts, Ukraine has not yet committed the bulk of its forces in its counter-offensive. It is currently still testing the front with probing attacks to determine weak points.