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WORLD

Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine’s Odesa for the Third Time in a Week, Injuring 14

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia struck the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa with ballistic missiles in a nighttime attack, injuring 14 people and starting a massive blaze, local officials and emergency services said.

The third attack on the city in a week hit a sorting depot belonging to Ukraine’s biggest private delivery company, Nova Poshta. No staff were injured, the company said, but the strike started a major fire.

On Monday, six people were killed in a Russian missile strike on Odesa, and two days later three people died there when the Kremlin’s forces targeted civilian infrastructure.

Long-range strikes have been a feature of Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II, which mostly has focused on attrition. Kyiv officials have pleaded for more air defense systems from Ukraine’s Western partners, but they have been slow in coming. Cities in Russia’s crosshairs, including recent target Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine, are pulverized by Moscow’s missiles, drones and glide bombs.

Russia has pushed Ukraine onto the back foot on the battlefield as Kyiv grapples with shortages of troops and ammunition against a bigger enemy. Ukrainian forces are now racing to build more defensive fortifications.

Odesa, a key export hub for millions of tons of Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, has been repeatedly targeted by Russia. Thursday was the 10th anniversary of clashes in the city between pro- and anti-Russia demonstrators that left 48 people dead.

Ukraine has deployed increasingly sophisticated long-range drones to hit back, aiming at targets on Russian soil, especially infrastructure that sustains the Russian economy and war effort.

The governors of three Russian regions reported that energy facilities were damaged by Ukrainian drone strikes overnight. Oryol region Gov. Andrei Klychkov said energy infrastructure was hit in two communities. The Smolensk and Kursk governors reported one facility damaged in each region.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukrainian drones were shot down over the Bryansk, Krasnodar, Rostov and Belgorod regions. Most were intercepted in Bryansk, where five were brought down, it said.

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By SUSIE BLANN and ILLIA NOVIKOV Associated Press

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