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Russian drones launch attack on Odessa in southern Ukraine

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The southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa was hit by Russian drone strikes early Wednesday, authorities confirmed, but there were no reports of casualties.

“The enemy carried out an attack at night with Shahed-136 drones on the Odessa region,” Yuri Krok, head of the military administration of the Odessa region, said in a statement on Telegram.

Crook said that Ukrainian air defenses destroyed most of the attacking drones, but some civilian infrastructure was hit.

“According to preliminary information, there were no casualties. Measures are being taken to contain the fire, and units of the State Emergency Service and other structures are working on the site.”

In an update on Telegram, General Mykola Oleshuk, commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, said that 10 out of 12 “kamikaze” drones were destroyed by Odessa’s air defenses.

Ukraine’s General Staff said that over the past day Russia had launched four missiles and 60 airstrikes, along with 58 missile attacks, causing civilian casualties.

The Shahed-136 is a small Iranian self-detonating drone that can be programmed to automatically fly to a set of GPS coordinates with a payload of explosives.

The Russian drone industry has been hit by international sanctions and a number of them have been shot down since the start of the war – prompting Moscow to import drones from Iran.

The Black Sea port of Odessa was a favorite holiday destination for many Ukrainians and Russians before President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February last year.

Since the beginning of the invasion, Odessa has been bombed several times by Russian forces. It was also attacked by a drone two weeks ago, which caused some damage.

In January, the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, designated the historic center of Odessa as a World Heritage Site in Danger.

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