Ukraine war live updates: Odesa mourns after deadly missile attack; 98-year-old walks miles under fire to escape advancing Russians

This photograph taken on April 29, 2024, in Odesa, shows a burning building damaged as a result of a missile attack, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Oleksandr Gimanov | Afp | Getty Images

A day of mourning has been declared in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa after a Russian missile strike killed five people and left 32 other injured.

The Russian strike hit a popular seafront park where many people were relaxing or walking their dogs after work, officials said. A law academy building was pictured on fire after the attack.

“The Russians hit one of the most popular locations among Odessa residents and visitors with a ballistic missile, previously with a cluster munition, where people walked with children, dogs, played sports…
Such munitions are used to kill manpower and pose a threat primarily to people, not for machinery and buildings,” Oleg Kiper, the head of the Odesa regional military administration, said on Telegram.

People look towards a burning building damaged as a result of a missile attack in Odesa, on April 29, 2024, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Oleksandr Gimanov | Afp | Getty Images

In an update Tuesday, Kiper said a number of people remain in a serious or extremely serious condition in hospital.

Gennadiy Trukhanov, Odesa’s mayor, described the attack as deplorable on Telegram: “Inhumans target peaceful people who were just resting after a day’s work. Walked with small children. With pets. There are no words that can express our attitude towards those creatures that bombard our cities. Russia is a terrorist country.”

Russia says it does not deliberately target civilians in the war against Ukraine, although thousands have died in attacks on residential and civilian infrastructure since the war started in February 2022.

— Holly Ellyatt

A 98-year-old Ukrainian woman said she walked 10 km (6 miles) under shelling, supporting herself with sticks and sleeping on the ground, leaving Ocheretyne in Donetsk, now occupied by Russia, and trying to reach areas controlled by Kyiv.

In a video posted by Ukraine’s police on social media on Monday, the woman, identified as Lidia Stepanivna, said she had walked without food or water, and fell several times but her “character” kept her going.

“I survived that war (World War Two), and I am surviving this war,” Stepanivna said in the video, which shows her sitting on a bed in a shelter, dressed in an oversized coat and a scarf tied on her head, a wooden stick still in her hand. “I’m left with nothing. But I left my Ukraine on feet.”

She said the war that now Russia is waging against her country is nothing like World War Two.

“Houses are burning and trees are being uprooted,” she said.

A Ukrainian soldier fires an artillery in the direction of Siversk, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on April 01, 2024. 

Wolfgang Schwan | Anadolu | Getty Images

Ukraine’s interior ministry said in a statement on its website that the woman was discovered by Ukraine’s military in the evening and handed her to the police, who took her to a shelter for evacuees.

“Law enforcement officers are looking for the woman’s relatives,” the ministry said.

It was not immediately clear when the woman was discovered. The war, now in its third year and with no end in sight, has killed thousands, turned Ukrainian cities and villages into rouble and displaced millions of people.


Tajikistan’s foreign ministry summoned Russia’s ambassador on Monday to protest over what it described as unfair treatment of its citizens by Moscow, in a rare dispute between post-Soviet allies.

It said it was seriously concerned with frequent cases where Tajik citizens were treated in a deliberately negative way.

The ministry made no mention of Russia’s arrest of several men that Moscow said were from Tajikistan following a deadly attack on a concert hall on the edge of the capital on March 22.

The Tajik ministry said in a separate statement on Sunday almost 1,000 of its citizens trying to enter Russia had been stranded in Moscow’s Vnukovo airport since April 27 “without appropriate sanitary conditions being provided to them”.

It said 27 Tajiks have been deported and 306 more have been put on a list of people to be deported from Russia.

— Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a joint meeting with the press with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg following their negotiations, in Kyiv.

Ukrinform | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday said that supplies of U.S. military hardware were starting to trickle into Ukraine but added that deliveries needed to be faster, as Russia was looking to make the most of Kyiv’s shortages.

In a joint press conference in Kyiv alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Zelenskyy said the dynamics on the battlefield would be directly affected by the delivery of supplies.

“Timely support for our army. Today I don’t see anything positive on this point yet. There are supplies, they have slightly begun, this process needs to be sped up,” he said, in comments reported by Reuters.

Ukraine is eagerly awaiting military supplies ranging from artillery shells and ammunition to long-range missiles that were promised in the U.S.’ latest $61 billion aid package, which was approved last week.

“The Russian army is now trying to take advantage of a situation when we are waiting for supplies from our partners… and that is exactly why the speed of deliveries means stabilising the front,” Zelenskyy said, adding that, “Russia is preparing for offensive actions.”

Russian forces claimed to have captured two villages in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, over the last 48 hours, with the advances coming after Ukrainian troops were withdrawn from several settlements in a bid to prevent casualties.

— Holly Ellyatt

Fire ignites after shelling in the fields nearby Novoselivka Persha as fighting in the Semenivka battlefield nearby Avdiivka rages on in the eastern of Donetsk region in Donbas, Ukraine, March 04th, 2024. 

Anadolu | Anadolu | Getty Images

Russia’s Ministry of Defense claimed Monday that its forces had captured the village of Semenivka (named “Semenovka” by Russia) in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.

The village was one of three that Ukraine’s army chief said he had withdrawn his forces from on Sunday in order to reduce the number of casualties in intense battles in the area to the west of Avdiivka, a town captured by Russian forces in February.

Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed Monday that its central group of forces took control of the village by defeating “the formations of the 68th Infantry, 23rd, 115th Mechanized Brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the 109th Terrorist Defense Brigade and the Foreign Legion mercenaries,” news agency Interfax reported.

The ministry claimed Ukraine lost up to 370 military personnel, two armored personnel carriers and an array of artillery in the process.

CNBC was unable to verify the claims and Ukraine has not commented on the report.

Nonetheless, Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, said on Telegram Sunday that he had moved his forces “to new frontiers” west of the villages of Berdychi, Semenivka and Novomykhailivka in a bid to prevent casualties. He described the situation on the front line in eastern Ukraine as having “worsened.”

Ukraine’s president said Sunday that the country is still waiting for vital weaponry supplies from the U.S., having been outmanned and outgunned in the east for several months.

Russia’s defense ministry announced the capture of the village of Novobakhmutivka, just north of Semenivka, on Sunday.

— Holly Ellyatt

North Korea reportedly criticized the U.S. for supplying long-range missiles to Ukraine, state media KCNA reported on Monday.

Citing a statement from a defense ministry official, the KCNA news agency quoted the official as saying the U.S. had “adopted such a mean policy as offering even long-range missiles for attacking the Russian territory to their lackeys in a bid to turn the tide of the war recently running against them.”

“Long-range missiles offered by the U.S. will never tip the scale in favor of Ukraine,” the director of the Department of Foreign Military Affairs of North Korea’s Ministry of National Defense was quoted as saying in the statement, which was translated by NBC News.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur region on September 13, 2023. 

Vladimir Smirnov | Afp | Getty Images

“It is a matter of time for the world to see the U.S. getting more vulnerable and Washington’s defeat on the Ukrainian battlefield,” the statement continued, adding that “the U.S. can never defeat the heroic Russian army and people with any latest weaponry or military support.”

The comments come after officials said that the U.S. had provided Ukraine with powerful long-range ballistic missiles for the first time earlier this month. The U.S.-provided Army Tactical Missile System, known as ATACMS, has since been used to strikes targets in Russian-occupied territory. A National Security Council spokesperson confirmed that the U.S. has provided them but said the supplies had not been revealed earlier for operational security reasons.

Read more from NBC News here: Ukraine uses long-range ATACMS against Russia for the first time

Russia and North Korea have deepened their political and military ties, with Moscow procuring missiles and artillery shells from Pyongyang, according to U.S. officials. They have both denied any arms transfers have taken place.

— Holly Ellyatt

The number of Ukrainian civilians who have been killed in the war has increased in recent months, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Monday, as Russia has intensified its strikes on Ukraine.

In an intelligence update on X, the British defense ministry noted recent data from the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, which found that 604 civilians were killed or wounded in March 2024.

“This equates to a 20% increase over the previous month,” the U.K. said, noting that “these deaths are attributed to missile and aerial-munitions strikes throughout Ukraine and increased bombardment at the frontlines.”

A man holding his shopping bags stops for a moment to inspect the damage to the Artem building caused by what authorities said is Russian bombardment in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

The report highlighted “the increased coordinated strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure with 20 destroyed or damaged sites. There were 57 children reported killed, double the previous month, and this was attributed directly to Russian use of aerial munitions,” the ministry noted.

The U.N. stated that, in total, there have been 31,366 civilian casualties in Ukraine (including Ukrainian-controlled and Russian-controlled territories) since Feb. 24 2022; the true number is likely to be far higher, with the collection of such data often difficult and inaccurate at a time of war.

“These figures highlight the tremendous cost of life sustained from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” the U.K. said.

— Holly Ellyatt

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