Putin rains death on Ukraine after Russian blitz leaves at least 13 people dead including two babies in series of deadly overnight strikes
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Two babies and a toddler are among more than a dozen killed in a deadly Russian blitz on Ukraine, with President Zelensky warning that Vladimir Putin’s forces continue to strike civilian targets.

A Russian drone crashed into a residential building in Odesa on Saturday, with pictures showing collapsed floors and the whole of one side ripped off the nine-storey block of flats.

A four-month-old baby and two-year-old child were confirmed to be among the dead, and as rescuers continued to search the rubble another baby was found dead next to the body of its mother. A day of mourning has been declared in the city today.

Separate shelling attacks on the frontline regions of Kharkiv in the northeast and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south killed another three people, Ukrainian officials said.

Volodymyr Zelensky said that casualties could have been avoided if Ukraine had not faced delays in arms deliveries, and urged the West to supply his country with more air defence systems to save civilian lives.

‘Russia continues to hit civilians,’ Zelensky said in a post on social media.

‘We need more air defences from our partners. We need to strengthen the Ukrainian air shield to add more protection for our people from Russian terror. 

‘More air-defence systems and more missiles for air-defence systems save lives.’

Almost 100 rescuers scoured the rubble as around 10 residents remained unaccounted for last night. 

‘The body of another dead baby has just been found next to the woman’s body. Preliminarily, the child is less than a year old. Rescuers continue to clear the rubble,’ Odesa governor Oleh Kiper said on the Telegram messaging app.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said the infant was found dead alongside his mother and posted a photograph of a rescue worker next to a bloodied blanket, a baby’s arm visible on one side and an adult arm extending out the other.

He added that the building was destroyed ‘as a result of an attack by Russian terrorists.’

Ukraine’s air force said falling debris from Russian drones it had shot down fell onto residential buildings in both Odesa and Kharkiv.

The attacks came as Russia sought to press its advantage on the battlefield.

Kyiv has acknowledged that it is heavily outgunned and outnumbered, facing ammunition shortages and aid delays.

Half of all promised Western ammunition arrives late, the defence minister has said.

Russian forces have advanced westwards following last month’s capture of the key eastern town of Avdiivka, seizing several small villages in recent days.

Visiting frontline military posts on Saturday, Ukraine’s new Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky said ‘the situation at the front remains difficult, but controlled’.

Kyiv appeared to have launched its own overnight drone attack, with the Russian defence ministry claiming early on Sunday to have shot down 38 drones over the occupied territory of Crimea.

An apparent Ukrainian drone also damaged a residential building a day earlier in Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city and President Putin’s hometown.

Videos on Russian social media showed what appeared to be a drone spiralling downwards into the building, triggering an explosion that blew out windows and caused small fires.

The city’s National Guard division said its preliminary assumption was that the damage was caused by a ‘falling drone’.

Ukrainian media reported that the drone was shot down by Russia’s air defences while targeting an oil depot around a kilometre from the crash site.

Kyiv has hit several Russian oil facilities in recent months in what it has called fair retribution for Moscow’s attacks on Ukraine’s power grid.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said separately that four of its officials had been wounded when a Ukrainian drone dropped explosives over the Bryansk border region.

Russia also expressed outrage at a leak of confidential German army talks in which officers allegedly discussed missile strikes on the annexed Crimean peninsula.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday promised a full investigation after the head of Russia’s state-run RT outlet posted the alleged leaked recording on social media.

A spokeswoman for the German defence ministry confirmed on Saturday that a secret air force conversation had been tapped, but that they could not say for certain whether any changes had been made to the conversation in the leaked audio file.

Russia’s foreign ministry demanded a ‘prompt’ explanation from Berlin, while Moscow’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov said it showed Ukraine’s European backers were intent on inflicting a ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia on the battlefield.

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