Russian missiles struck a historic Orthodox cathedral yesterday in a brutal airstrike that killed at least one person and wounded 22 others.
Moscow continued its attacks on the port city of Odesa, a key hub for exporting grain, after withdrawing from a wartime deal that allowed exports of crops through the Black Sea this week.
Kremlin tyrant Vladimir Putin had vowed to retaliate against Kyiv for an attack on the crucial Kerch Bridge linking Russia with the Crimean Peninsula last week.
Regional Governor Oleh Kiper said yesterday that four children were among those wounded in the early-morning blasts, which severely damaged the historic Transfiguration Cathedral, a landmark Orthodox cathedral in the city.
Archdeacon Andrii Palchuk said: ‘The destruction is enormous, half of the cathedral is now roofless.’
Cathedral workers scrambled to remove documents and valuable items from the building, which had been flooded by water by firefighters battling the blaze.
Mr Palchuk said the damage was caused by a direct hit from a Russian missile.
Two people who were inside at the time of the strike were wounded.
Mr Kiper said six residential buildings – including several apartment blocks – had been destroyed.
Some people were trapped in their apartments due to the devastation of the attack, which left rubble strewn in the street and damage to power lines.
‘Odesa: another night attack of the monsters,’ Mr Kiper wrote on Telegram.
Svitlana Molcharova, 85, was rescued by emergency service workers but refused to leave her destroyed apartment after she received medical help.
‘I will stay here,’ she said to the emergency service worker who advised her to leave.
Another resident, Ivan Kovalenko, 19, said: ‘I woke up when the ceiling started to fall on me. I rushed into the corridor.’
He came to Odesa after fleeing the city of Mykolaiv when his house was destroyed.
‘That’s how I lost my home in Mykolaiv, and here, I lost my rented apartment,’ he said.
His ceiling partially collapsed, the balcony came off the side of the building, and all the windows were blown out.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Russian ‘terrorists’ would ‘feel this retaliation’.
Earlier Russian attacks this week crippled significant parts of export facilities in Odesa and nearby Chornomorsk and destroyed 60,000 tons of grain, according to Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry.