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Tragedy Strikes: 12 Lives Lost, 5 Children in Odesa Drone Attack

Key developments on March 2-3 include a Russian drone attack in Odesa resulting in the tragic death of 12 individuals, including five children. Additionally, Ukraine successfully brought down another Russian Su-34 jet, contributing to a reduction in Russian air activity over Ukraine following substantial aircraft losses.

The UK Defense Ministry reported a record-high average daily Russian losses in February. Furthermore, a Russian assault on Kurakhove left 16 people injured, including children.

The Odesa drone strike, occurring overnight on March 2, targeted a multi-story building, causing the destruction of 18 apartments and trapping several individuals under the debris. The aftermath revealed eight injuries, including one child. Among the deceased were a woman and her seven-month-old infant, a four-month-old baby, a three-year-old, and a 9-year-old boy with his 8-year-old sister, as stated by Odesa Oblast Governor Oleh Kiper.

Kiper expressed deep sorrow, calling it an “unspeakable and horrific tragedy for Odesa and the whole of Ukraine” on Telegram. The rescue operation in Odesa concluded around 9 p.m. on March 3.

“Every Russian loss on the front line is our country’s response to Russian terror,” declared President Volodymyr Zelensky on March 3 in response to the attack. He emphasized the necessity for the world to address each instance of Russian aggression and counteract their actions, stressing that overlooking acts of Russian terrorism enables further bloodshed.

Aside from Odesa, the Russian drone attack on March 2 also struck Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Sumy oblasts. The Air Force reported successfully downing 14 out of the 17 Russian Shahed-type drones.

In the aftermath of the attack, Zelensky urged allies to expedite the transfer of weapons to Ukraine, criticizing political games and disputes that hinder the nation’s defense efforts. In a Telegram post, he stated, “The world knows how to oppose terrorism. The world has enough missile defense systems to protect (Ukraine) against Shahed drones and missiles.”

Zelensky highlighted the consequences of delays in supplying weapons to Ukraine, expressing concern that such delays lead to ongoing losses and an increasing list of children whose lives are continually taken by Russia.

Also Read: Miracle: Mom and Baby Survive Ukraine Drone Strike

On March 2, Ukrainian forces successfully downed another Russian Su-34 attack aircraft, as reported by the Air Force. Prior to this announcement, Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk had revealed the deployment of surface-to-air missiles targeting Russian Su-34 and Su-35 aircraft in the eastern regions of Ukraine.

Confirming the incident, the East Air Command stated, “The East Air Command confirms the downing of a Su-34 fighter bomber. Unfortunately, it was only one,” via Telegram. This event is part of an increased trend in downed Russian planes, with official reports indicating 13 Russian warplanes shot down in February alone. On February 29, three Su-34 attack planes were reportedly downed.

The February downed aircraft include 10 Su-34 fighter bombers, two Su-35 fighter jets, and one rare A-50 military spy plane.

Yuri Ihnat, the Air Force’s spokesperson, affirmed on March 3 in a statement to Ukrainska Pravda that Russian air activity over Ukraine has diminished over the past week, following significant losses suffered by the Russian military in terms of aircraft. Ihnat credited this success to the effectiveness of air defense systems supplied by Ukraine’s allies, stating, “The means of resistance provided to Ukraine by Western partners demonstrate their effectiveness. This is evidenced by the number of enemy aircraft shot down in February.” He emphasized the current objective of securing frontline territories from the enemy’s use of guided aerial bombs.

In its March 3 update, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported that the average number of estimated Russian casualties in February reached a historic high of approximately 983 per day since the commencement of the full-scale invasion. The ministry’s update appears to be based on its own estimations of Russian losses.

The surge in casualties is believed to “almost certainly” indicate Russia’s commitment to mass and attritional warfare, as noted by the ministry. Despite the human cost, this approach has intensified pressure on Ukraine’s positions along the entire front line.

A graph presented by the U.K. Defense Ministry depicting average daily losses for the Russian military reveals a continuous upward trend since the initiation of the full-scale invasion. In 2022, the highest daily losses were recorded at 559 in November. The numbers steadily increased in 2023, reaching the peak of 967 in December. The commencement of the Russian offensive on Avdiivka in October 2023 likely contributed to the spike in casualties at the end of that year.

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry’s estimates, over 355,000 Russian service members have been killed or wounded since the start of the full-scale invasion. Notably, the Ukrainian government’s public estimate stands at 416,800.

On March 3, a devastating incident unfolded in Kurakhove, a city in Donetsk Oblast, as Russian forces launched a guided aerial bomb on the city center, causing injuries to at least 16 people, according to a report from local governor Vadim Filashkin. Among the wounded are two teenagers, aged 17 and 15, with two individuals in critical condition, as stated by Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko.

The attack occurred around 12 p.m. local time and resulted in significant damage to at least 15 high-rise buildings, according to Filashkin. Civilians in Donetsk Oblast settlements, due to their proximity to the front line, face daily strikes from Russian forces.

The region is currently embroiled in heavy battles, with Russia escalating its offensive actions along the front. Compounding the situation, Ukraine’s Armed Forces are grappling with severe ammunition shortages, attributed to delays in U.S. aid.

Expressing concern on Telegram, Interior Minister Klymenko remarked, “While we fight (Russian) occupiers on the front line, they continue to wage war against civilians. They are waging war against children.” He emphasized the inevitability of a response to these strikes, both in international courts and on the battlefield.

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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