A Russian missile attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa reportedly killed at least one person, injured 22 — including four children — and nearly destroyed a centuries-old historic church.
Russia launched 19 missiles aimed the region early Sunday, the Ukrainian Air Force said.
Ukrainian air defenses shot down nine of the projectiles, CBS News reported. But several got through and struck the Black Sea city, leaving four children among the wounded, according to regional Gov. Oleh Kiper.
On Telegram, the governor wrote that missiles destroyed six residential buildings, including apartment buildings.
They also mutilated the Transfiguration Cathedral, which CBS cited as one of the biggest, most important Orthodox Cathedrals in the city. Workers removed documents, artifacts and other valuables from the building after the attack, which sparked fires within the 228 year-old building.
“The destruction is enormous, half of the cathedral is now roofless,” Archdeacon Andrii Palchuk said, according to CBS. “But with God’s help, we will restore it.”
Russia, which first invaded Ukraine in February 2022, has launched a new round of attacks on Odesa since Moscow on Monday scrapped a deal to let Ukraine export millions of tons of grain — despite the war.
The attack shocked war-weary residents, some of whom came to Odesa after fleeing other cities shattered by the invaders.
“I woke up when the ceiling started to fall on me,” said Ivan Kovalenko, a 19-year-old who moved to one of the buildings after leaving Mykolaiv, another hard-hit Ukrainian city.
“That’s how I lost my home in Mykolaiv, and here, I lost my rented apartment,” he said, CBS reported.
Others — including 85 year-old Svitlana Molcharova — remain defiant.
“I will stay here,” she told the emergency service workers who rescued her after her apartment was destroyed.
UNESCO designated Odesa’s historic city center an endangered World Heritage Site earlier this year.
Russian forces attacked the sites because “terrorist acts against the Russian federation were being prepared” there, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, CBS News reported. The agency also claimed the targets hosted “foreign mercenaries.”
But the ministry later backpedaled, claiming its missiles didn’t hit the Cathedral and the havoc on the ground was likely caused by the “fall of a Ukrainian anti-aircraft guided missile.”
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church batted away these claims, saying in a Facebook post that Russia struck the building and a “Russian rocket hit the central altar,” the news outlet reported.
The post Russian missiles strike Odesa, killing one, wounding at least 22 and hitting historic cathedral appeared first on New York Post.