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Russia Launches Drone Attack on Ukraine's Odesa

The Potemkin Stairs that connect the port area with the Odesa city center. Bo Amstrup / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP

Russia launched a drone attack on Ukraine's southern port city of Odesa early Wednesday but there were no reports of casualties, authorities said.

"At night, the enemy carried out an attack by UAVs of the Shahed-136 type on the Odesa region," Yuriy Kruk, head of the Odesa district military administration, said in a statement on Telegram.

Kruk said Ukraine's air defenses had destroyed most of the attacking drones but some civilian infrastructure had been hit.

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

In an update on Telegram, General Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, said 10 out of 12 "kamikaze" drones had been destroyed by the Odesa air defenses.

Ukraine's General Staff said over the past day Russia had launched four missile and 60 air strikes, along with 58 rocket attacks, causing injuries to civilians.

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

Russia's drone industry has been hit by international sanctions and a number have been shot down since the start of the war — prompting Moscow to import drones from Iran.

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

Since the start of the invasion, Odesa has been bombed several times by Russian forces. It was also hit by a drone attack two weeks ago that caused some damage.

In January, the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO designated the historic centre of Odesa a World Heritage in Danger site.

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