Two children under 19 killed in Russian rocket attack on apartment building in Ukraine, days after attack on shopping center

TWO children have been killed in a Russian rocket attack on an apartment building in Ukraine – just days after Putin’s forces destroyed a shopping mall.

At least 19 people died and a further 38 – including six children and a pregnant woman – were injured after the bombings in the small town of Serhiivka, near Odessa.

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At least 19 people have been killed in the bombings in the town of Serhiivka, near Odessa.Credit: Reuters
Bodies of people killed by Russian missile strike in front of an apartment building

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Bodies of people killed by Russian missile strike in front of an apartment buildingCredit: Reuters
Rescuers search through the rubble for survivors

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Rescuers search through the rubble for survivorsCredit: Reuters
Ukrainian president's office said three X-22 missiles were fired by Russia

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Ukrainian president’s office said three X-22 missiles were fired by RussiaCredit: Reuters

The Ukrainian president’s office said three X-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers destroyed an apartment building and two holiday camp sites.

Most of the victims were in the nine-story apartment building, Ukrainian officials said.

Shocking footage of the attack before dawn showed the charred remains of buildings in the city as rescuers searched desperately through the rubble for survivors.

Ukraine’s state emergency service said 75 people and 19 units were involved in the rescue operation.

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Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said: “A terrorist country is killing our people. In response to defeats on the battlefield, they are fighting civilians.”

Large numbers of civilians died in Russian shelling earlier in the war, including in a hospital, a theater used as a bomb shelter and a train station.

Until this week, mass casualties involving civilians appeared to be easing as Moscow focused on conquering the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

Asked about Russia’s latest atrocity near Odessa, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow did not attack residential areas during the war and denied responsibility for the attacks.

He alleged that the Russian army is trying to attack ammunition depots, arms repair factories and troop training facilities.

“I would like to remind you of the president’s words that the Russian armed forces do not work with civilian targets,” he said.

The airstrikes followed the withdrawal of Russian troops from Snake Island on Thursday — a move expected to lessen the threat to nearby Odessa, home to Ukraine’s largest port.

Russia took control of it in the early days of the war in the apparent hope of using it as a staging area for an attack on Odessa.

The Kremlin portrayed the departure of Russian troops from Snake Island as a goodwill gesture to get shipments of grain and other agricultural products moving.

The Ukrainian army demanded a barrage from its artillery and rockets forced the Russians to flee in two small speedboats.

In eastern Ukraine, Russian troops have continued their fight against the last Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russians are trying to surround the city of Lysychansk and fight for control of an oil refinery on the outskirts of the city.

Haidai said: “The shelling of the city is very intense.

Rescue workers work at the site of the missile strike

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Rescue workers work at the site of the missile strikeCredit: Reuters
First responders work on damaged residential building in Odessa

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First responders work on damaged residential building in OdessaCredit: AP
Search and rescue operations after the Russian missile attack

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Search and rescue operations after the Russian missile attackCredit: Getty

“The occupiers are destroying house after house with heavy artillery and other weapons.

“Inhabitants of Lysychansk are hiding in cellars almost around the clock.”

Ukraine’s presidential office said a barrage of Russian attacks in the past 24 hours has also killed civilians in eastern Ukraine — four in the northeastern region of Kharkiv and another four in Donetsk province.

It comes just days after terrified families cowered in fear and fled when Putin fired on the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchug.

Two rockets hit the busy shopping center, trapping many civilians and injuring dozens.

The atrocity was condemned as a “crime against humanity”.

Gruesome videos show the entire Amstor mall in flames as firefighters battle the inferno.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded to Putin’s “cruelty and barbarity” after the attack, which killed at least 19 people and injured more than 60.

President Zelensky had at least 1,000 people inside at the time of the attack.

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Putin denied that Russian troops attacked the mall.

He claimed that the target in Kremenchuk was a nearby weapons depot and that the Russian army is not firing on buildings occupied by civilians.

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