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Rescuers work at the site of a heavily damaged multi-story apartment building, following a Russian drone attack, in Odesa, on March 2. (Oleksandr Gimanov/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

Babies killed in Russian drone attack

March 3, 2024

By Maria Kostenko and Catherine Nicholls, CNN

Kyiv (CNN) — The death toll from a Russian drone attack on an apartment block in the Ukrainian city of Odesa has risen to ten after the body of a third child was pulled from the rubble, officials said Sunday, the latest civilian victims of a relentless Russian bombing campaign.

“The body of another baby has just been found next to the woman’s body. The child is believed to be less than a year old,” Oleh Kiper, the head of Odesa regional military administration on Sunday, wrote on Telegram.

The bodies of a mother and her four-month-old were also found in the rubble on Saturday, authorities said,

The dead woman’s sister told CNN that the mother’s name was Anna, and that she was in her bedroom on the second floor of her apartment building when the strike happened. She was a florist and a decorator.

Her husband and daughter survived the drone attack, her sister told CNN.

According to Saturday’s daily address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a toddler named Mark was also killed – he was two, set to turn three on Sunday.

The attack left the front facade of an apartment block in ruins.

Andriy Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine noted that there is no military facility nearby, calling the attack a deliberate targeting of civilians.

Sunday has been declared a day of mourning in Odesa, according to the city’s administration.

Zelensky said the attack showed the need to further strengthen the country’s air defense capacities.

“One of the enemy drones hit a residential building in Odesa. 18 apartments have been destroyed,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday.

“More air defense systems, more missiles for air defense is what saves lives,” he said.

Ukraine has been asking its western allies for more military aid as Russia’s war against Ukraine enters its third year.

Last week, Zelensky warned CNN that “millions” could die if US lawmakers don’t approve President Joe Biden’s $60 billion aid request for Kyiv, hours after announcing some 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed so far in the conflict.

Republican leadership in the House has so far been refusing to hold a vote on providing more funding.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is weighing whether to tap into the last remaining source of funding it has for military aid to support Ukraine’s war effort against Russia even without guarantees that those funds will be replenished by Congress, multiple defense officials told CNN.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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