Russian Air Attack on Ukraine
According to Ukrainian reports, three civilians were killed and many more injured in a Russian air attack on Odessa. Debris from a shot-down drone crashed into a residential block, causing a fire.
Several people were injured and killed in Odessa, a Ukrainian port city, during nighttime Russian drone attacks. "As a result of the aerial battle, debris from a drone fell onto the apartment building, causing a fire," the command of the Ukrainian army's south group posted on Facebook. Three civilians died as a result of the flames, and 26 others were injured.
The Ukrainian Air Force later announced that Russia targeted 35 drones and eight rockets at Ukraine. They shot down 20 Shahed-type Iranian drones and two ballistic missiles. Russian attacks were directed at targets in the Poltava and Kharkiv regions, in addition to Odessa.
Moscow claims that only strategically important targets and military units in Ukraine are being attacked by drones and rockets. However, civilians are also frequently victims of these attacks.
Putin's Announcement of the Counteroffensive
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive has begun. "We can definitely say that this Ukrainian counteroffensive has begun," Putin said in an interview with Russian state television. Some international media had already speculated, citing Ukrainian military officials, that the operation to liberate areas occupied by Russia had been underway for several days.
Selenskyj Praises Ukrainian Troops
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj did not contradict Putin's claims in his daily video address, but he did not confirm them either. Selenskyj praised his army for their "heroism." "For our soldiers, for everyone who is in particularly hard fights these days, we see your heroism, and we are grateful for every minute of your life."
In his address, Selenskyj did not provide any details about developments at the front. However, he held a meeting with the high command and stated that the attention of Ukrainian troops is aimed "where our actions are needed, and where the enemy could suffer certain losses." Official sources in Ukraine had recently declared that the military was ready for the expected counteroffensive, although there would be no formal announcement of its launch.