Over a Dozen Killed While Russia Pounds Black Sea region of Odesa

More than 19 people were killed, including two children, following the Russian missile strikes on the southern region of Odesa on Friday, Ukrainian officials said, while another 30 people were injured in the bombing of the village of Sergiivka.

The people died when three Russian missiles hit a nine-story residential building and two recreation centers among the places hit in the Odesa region.

Meanwhile, after Ukraine said it carried out a remarkable operation, Russian forces left Snake Island in the Black Sea claiming they withdrew as a gesture of goodwill.

The spokesman for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Andrii Demchenko, said that now the Russian enemy troops have left the island, Ukraine hopes that strikes and shelling on the territory around Odesa will decrease and the Ukrainian border service would soon be able to return to the Snake Island.

Demchenko went on to say that the situation with Snake Island remains tense considering the possibility that the enemy could have mined the access to the island.

At the same time, reports say that Russian troops have been making gains in eastern Ukraine, around the embattled hilltop city of Lysychansk, claiming to have taken over a key oil refinery.

Lysychansk is the key battleground in Moscow’s attempt to conquer Donbas, Ukraine’s industrial heartland, and is situated in Luhansk, where the head of the military administration reported increased military action and fighting everywhere.

The regional officials are warning that the situation in the last Ukrainian holdout in the east is very difficult with the President Zelensky reiterating his calls for the West to send Ukraine more advanced heavy weapons to allow its forces to stave off the Russian artillery onslaught.