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Ukrainian Officials Say Russian Drone Attack in Odesa Kills at Least 3

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, a firefighter examines damage to an apartment building following a Russian drone attack in Dnipro, Ukraine, Feb. 23, 2024.
In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, a firefighter examines damage to an apartment building following a Russian drone attack in Dnipro, Ukraine, Feb. 23, 2024.

Ukrainian officials said Friday a Russian drone struck a commercial area in the country’s Black Sea port of Odesa overnight, triggering a fire and killing at least three people.

The military said Russia launched 31 drones at Ukraine overnight and that air defenses destroyed 23 of them. Southern forces said they had intercepted nine drones, but that one struck an area near the port, causing the blaze.

In Dnipropetrovsk, regional Governor Sergiy Lysak said on Telegram that a Russian drone hit an apartment building, injuring eight people. He said rescue workers were searching the rubble and that other residents might be still be under the debris.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine began February 24, 2022, and as the second anniversary arrives, leaders from the Group of Seven leading industrial nations are to hold a virtual meeting Saturday to discuss their support for Ukraine.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will participate in the talks and that the group will address "steps we can take together to continue holding Russia accountable."

The United States is also preparing to unveil a new round of sanctions against Russia Friday for its invasion of Ukraine and the death in custody of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

The new sanctions will be against more than 500 targets, Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Reuters.

"Tomorrow we'll release hundreds of sanctions just here in the United States, but it's important to step back and remember that it's not just America taking these actions," Adeyemo said.

"We are always looking at additional ways that we can choke off the Russian war machine, that we can deny the Russian military industrial complex components that it needs to use to fund its war effort, as well as to hold accountable those involved in it," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters Wednesday.

The European Union agreed Wednesday to enact its own new sanctions against Russia.

The sanctions include banning about 200 people and entities from doing business with companies in the EU or traveling there.

"With this package, we are taking more action against entities involved in circumvention [of sanctions], the defense and military sectors," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

At the G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Borrell said there was no indication that Moscow would accept a cease-fire. "[Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants to continue this war," he said.

In addition to Russian firms, the EU's sanctions target Chinese companies providing military technology to Russia.

"We must keep degrading Putin's war machine," EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. "With 2,000 listings in total, we keep the pressure high on the Kremlin. We are also further cutting Russia's access to drones."

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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