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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Miracle: Mom and Baby Survive Ukraine Drone Strike

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called upon Western allies to enhance Ukraine’s air defenses following a Russian drone attack that demolished an apartment block in the southern port city of Odesa, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 11 lives. On Sunday, authorities confirmed the recovery of the bodies of a young boy and a woman holding an infant from the rubble of the incident that occurred on Saturday.

According to a Telegram post from the interior ministry’s official channel, the mother valiantly tried to shield the 8-month-old child with her own body in a desperate attempt to save them. They were discovered in a poignant embrace. Separately, Odesa region governor Oleh Kiper revealed that the other child was 10 years old.

Ukrainian officials reported that a baby was also among the casualties due to falling debris from an Iranian-made drone, one of eight Russian drones reported by authorities. President Zelenskyy later announced the tragic death of a second child, a 2-year-old.

In a message on X, formerly known as Twitter, Zelenskyy expressed the unfortunate consequences of delays in delivering weapons and air defense to Ukraine, attributing such losses to the urgency of bolstering their protective capabilities.

The Odesa branch of Ukraine’s main emergency service stated on Facebook that more individuals might still be trapped, with ongoing efforts by rescue workers to search through the site. In other parts of Ukraine, regional authorities reported casualties, including a 58-year-old man who died under rubble after Russian forces shelled his village in the southern Kherson province and a 38-year-old civilian killed in a Russian artillery strike in the neighboring Zaporizhzhia region, according to local Governor Ivan Fedorov.

On Sunday afternoon, Donetsk regional Governor Vadim Filashkin disclosed that a Russian airstrike on the eastern town of Kurakhove had wounded 16 people and caused damage to 15 high-rise apartment blocks.

REPORTS OF EXPLOSIONS AT AN OIL DEPOT IN CRIMEA

In the early hours of Sunday, loud explosions resonated near an oil depot in Russian-occupied Crimea, as reported by a local pro-Kyiv Telegram news channel. Officials appointed by the Kremlin in the region indicated a nearby stretch of highway closure for approximately eight hours.

Videos capturing the explosions shared with the pro-Ukrainian channel Crimean Wind portrayed the night sky illuminated by bursts of light and thunderous booms. The footage, reportedly taken by residents near Feodosia, a coastal town in northeastern Crimea, could not be immediately verified for authenticity.

An underground group led by Crimean Tatars, known as Atesh, meaning “fire” in Crimean Tatar, asserted that the explosions destroyed a pipeline, causing substantial damage. While the group did not explicitly claim responsibility for the strike, they stated that information about its aftermath was obtained from informants within the ranks of Russian-appointed officials. Kyiv authorities did not immediately respond to these claims.

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According to an adviser to Crimea’s Kremlin-installed leader, Oleg Kryuchkov, early on Sunday, traffic was halted along a four-lane Russian federal highway near Feodosia. However, the post on Telegram did not explain the suspension.

After more than eight hours, Crimea’s local transport minister reported a partial resumption of traffic. Additionally, a bridge connecting Crimea to Russian territory was closed to traffic for approximately two hours early Sunday.

While Russia’s defense ministry remained silent on the reported explosions, they asserted that 38 Ukrainian drones were intercepted over the peninsula overnight into Sunday.

CHINA’S UKRAINE ENVOY HOLDS TALKS IN MOSCOW

In Moscow, the special envoy on Ukraine from China engaged in talks on Saturday evening with senior Russian diplomats, marking the initial phase of a European tour that will also include stops in Brussels, Poland, Germany, and France, as reported by Chinese and Russian state media.

According to China’s foreign ministry, Special Representative Li Hui and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin concurred that negotiations represent the sole viable avenue to bring an end to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Li’s visit, his second since May, aligns with Kyiv’s efforts to involve Beijing in the peace talks facilitated by Switzerland. Despite China asserting its neutrality in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, it maintains robust ties with Moscow, evident through frequent state visits and joint military exercises.

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan expressed the necessity of initiating discussions on a cease-fire between Moscow and Kyiv. Fidan stated during a news conference that both sides had reached the limits of achievable results through warfare.

He emphasized that advocating for a cease-fire does not equate to recognizing Russia’s occupation of parts of Ukraine. Fidan stressed the importance of separating the issues of acknowledging the occupation and sovereignty from the cease-fire matter, highlighting the need for diplomatic efforts to address the ongoing conflict.

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