Overnight missile strikes on a residential tower and a recreational center in a coastal town southwest of the Black Sea port city of Odesa early Friday killed at least 17 and injured dozens of others, Ukrainian officials said.
One of the missiles hit a nine-story residential tower in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, about 50 miles southwest of Odesa, killing 14 and injuring 30, according to Ukraine’s state emergency service and the regional military administration. The other hit a recreational center, where three died and one was injured, the officials said.
Rescuers were still going through the rubble of the partially collapsed buildings Friday morning after the strikes, which occurred around 1 a.m.
The details of the missile attacks could not immediately be verified.
The attacks came as Russian troops withdrew from Snake Island in the Black Sea, about 20 miles off Ukraine’s southern coast, after repeated assaults by Ukrainian forces. The withdrawal was expected to undermine Russia’s control of vital grain shipping lanes from Odesa.
Odesa has long been coveted by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, whose forces have continued to display willingness to target civilians during the war. Previous Russian targets have included a theater, a maternity hospital and people waiting in line for bread.
On Monday, Russians unleashed a missile attack at a shopping mall in the industrial city of Kremenchuk, in central Ukraine, killing at least 18 people. Group of 7 leaders meeting in Germany called the mall attack a “war crime” in a statement.
In the war’s early weeks, Odesa had been largely spared the high-casualty attacks on civilians suffered by other Ukrainian cities. Efforts by Russian forces to march westward along the coastline and capture the city were hindered by fierce Ukrainian resistance and logistical issues.
But in April, at least eight people were killed when two cruise missiles struck a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, Ukrainian officials said. Later that month, another missile strike damaged the runway at Odesa’s airport and rendered it unusable, according to a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military’s southern command.