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Russian Missile Strike Kills 17 in Odesa; Hits Residential Building

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Early morning Russian missile strikes in Ukraine’s Odesa region Friday killed at least 17 people. Dozens of people were injured in the strikes. At least one of the targeted sites was a residential building.

Russia’s defense ministry said Thursday it had retreated from Ukraine’s Snake Island, which had become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance since Moscow’s invasion four months ago.

Russia had used the Black Sea island near the port city of Odesa as a staging ground after seizing it in the early stages of the war, launching attacks on Ukraine from it and monitoring shipments from Ukrainian ports.

But Ukraine confirmed Russian forces had pulled out and said it came after Ukrainian forces hit the island with missile and artillery strikes overnight, leaving the remaining Russian forces to escape in two speedboats.

The head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, Andriy Yermak, confirmed the withdrawal of Russian forces from the island. “No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job,” Yermak said in a Twitter post.

One of the first chapters of the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion played out on Snake Island when a Russian flagship, the Moskva, approached and demanded that Ukrainian troops surrender. Their response, “Russian warship, go f— yourself,” led to an artillery attack from the ship and Ukrainian troops were forced to surrender the island.

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