UPDATE 2 - At least 1 killed, 22 injured in Russian missile strike in Ukraine’s Odesa

UPDATE 2 - At least 1 killed, 22 injured in Russian missile strike in Ukraine’s Odesa

Historical Transfiguration Cathedral also damaged, Odesa City Council says

UPDATES WITH STATEMENT BY RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY, MINOR EDITS

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - At least one person was killed and 22 others injured in an overnight Russian missile strike in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa, police said on Sunday.

The National Police of Ukraine in a statement on Telegram said they were assessing the consequences of the attack, adding that civil infrastructure, high-rise and private residential buildings, and cars were damaged or destroyed as a result of the attack.

It added that law enforcement officers were providing security in the area, ensuring law and order, helping rescuers, and providing the necessary assistance to the injured.

The historical Transfiguration Cathedral was also damaged by the strikes, the Odesa City Council said. The building is said to be Odesa's largest Orthodox church.​​​​​​​

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry in a statement denied that it targeted the church, saying the targets were “located at a safe distance from the temple complex.”

“The planning of high-precision strikes against the military and terrorist infrastructure of the Kyiv regime is carried out on the basis of carefully verified and confirmed information through several channels, deliberately excluding the destruction of civilian facilities, as well as objects of cultural and historical heritage,” the statement said.

It added that the most likely cause of damage to the church was “the fall of a Ukrainian anti-aircraft guided missile as a result of the illiterate actions of the operators of air defense systems, which the Armed Forces of Ukraine deliberately place in residential areas of settlements, including in the city of Odesa."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Kyiv will retaliate. “We will get through this. We will restore peace. And for this, we must defeat the Russian evil,” he said on Telegram.

Russian missile strikes in Ukraine have intensified since Monday, after an explosion at the Kerch bridge, which connects Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had called the alleged Ukrainian strike a “terrorist attack” and vowed to retaliate.

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