Death toll rises from Russian drone strike on Ukrainian port city, as China’s envoy tours Moscow

Mar3,2024



Kiev: the the death toll increased to 10 on Sunday Russian drone attack An apartment block was destroyed in Ukraine's southern port city of Odessa the previous day as a local official said the body of a third child, along with the child's mother, had been pulled from the debris.
ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky Called on Western allies to boost Ukraine's air defenses in the wake of the deadly attack.
Ukraine's Interior Ministry said Sunday that rescue workers recovered the remains of a woman and an infant in the morning.
“The mother tried to cover the 8-month-old baby with her (body). She tried to protect him. They were hugged tightly,” a Telegram post published on the ministry's official channel said.
On Saturday, Ukrainian officials said another young child was among those killed when debris from an Iranian-made drone fell on an apartment building — one of eight Russian drones reported by authorities. Later that day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky It said a second child had also died, and called on Kiev's Western partners to send more air defense systems.
“Timofei was 4 months old. Mark was about to turn 3. My condolences to all those close to him,” Zelensky wrote in English on X, formerly known as Twitter. He said that a 3-year-old girl and seven other people were injured in the attack.
Zelensky wrote, “Delays in arms deliveries to Ukraine, as well as delays in air defense to protect our people, unfortunately result in such losses. … Ukraine has never had the means necessary to protect life. Nothing more than that is requested.”
Four more people may be trapped under debris in Odessa, the local branch of Ukraine's main emergency service said in a Facebook update on Sunday. Local governor Oleh Kipar said rescue workers were continuing searches at the site and regional authorities declared a day of mourning for the victims.
Reports of an explosion at an oil depot in Crimea
In Russian-occupied Crimea, loud explosions were heard near an oil depot in the early hours of Sunday, according to a local pro-Kyiv Telegram news channel, while Kremlin-installed officials in the region said a nearby section of highway was closed. Was done. Traffic for more than eight hours.
Video shared with pro-Ukraine channel Crimean Wind showed explosions lighting up the night sky, followed by loud noises. The channel said they were taken by local residents near Feodosia, a coastal city in northeastern Crimea. It was not immediately possible to verify under what circumstances the videos were shot.
An anti-Russian, Crimean Tatar-led underground group claimed later that day that the explosions destroyed a pipeline, causing “huge” damage.
The group, Atesh – meaning “fire” in Crimean Tatar – did not directly claim responsibility for the attack, saying it had learned of its consequences from informants among Russian-appointed officials. Officials in Kiev did not immediately acknowledge or comment on the claims.
Traffic on a four-lane Russian federal highway near Feodosia was halted Sunday morning, according to an adviser to Crimea's Kremlin-installed leader. Oleg Kryuchkov's Telegram post did not explain the reason for the move. More than eight hours later, Crimea's local transport minister reported that traffic had partially resumed. The bridge connecting Crimea to Russian territory was also closed to traffic for about two hours on Sunday morning.
Russia's Defense Ministry did not comment on the reports on Sunday, but claimed 38 Ukrainian drones were intercepted over the peninsula on Sunday night.
China's Ukraine envoy talks with Russian diplomats in Moscow
In Moscow, China's special envoy to Ukraine held talks with senior Russian diplomats on Saturday evening on the first leg of a European trip that will also take him to Brussels, Poland, Germany and France, Chinese and Russian state media reported.
In a readout published Sunday morning, China's Foreign Ministry said special representative Li Hui and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galyuzin agreed that dialogue was the only way to end the fighting in Ukraine.
Li's visit, the second since last May, comes as Kiev seeks Beijing's participation in peace talks that Switzerland is trying to organize this spring. China claims it is neutral in Russia's war on Ukraine, but maintains close ties with Moscow, with frequent state visits and joint military exercises between the two countries.
“We will continue to play our unique role, carry forward shuttle diplomacy, build consensus among all parties, and contribute China's wisdom to promote a political solution to the Ukraine crisis,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said on Wednesday. “



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