Olodimir Zelensky has condemned the missile strikes in the Odessa region as “purposeful Russian terror”.
At least 21 people, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed in Russian missile attacks on residential areas near a Ukrainian port on Friday.
Video of the attack before dawn shows the charred ruins of buildings in the small town of Seryhivka, about 50 km from Odessa.
Ukraine’s president’s office said three Kh-22 missiles fired by warplanes struck an apartment building and a camp as he denounced Russia over the attacks in his nightly address.
He said: “In the Odessa region, work is underway to clear the debris after the Russian missile attack on Seryhivka.
“Three missiles hit an ordinary residential building, a nine-story building in which no weapons, military equipment or ammunition were hidden, as Russian propaganda and officials always describe such attacks.
“It was a simple house, about 160 people. It was inhabited by common people, citizens. The strike also destroyed the recreation center – an item quite typical for the seaside area.
“I emphasize: this is a deliberate, purposeful Russian terror, and not some mistake or an accidental missile attack.
“Four people from a family were killed… 12 year old boy killed, whose name was Dimitro… So far, there are 21 people in the list of dead, and about 40 injured. Numbers are changing throughout the day, unfortunately. Since then, the death toll is increasing.”
He said he was grateful to the US and “personally” Biden for the new support package announced today for Ukraine, which includes “the very powerful NASAMS systems.”
A large number of civilians were killed in Russian air raids and shelling earlier in the war, including a hospital, a bomb shelter and a theater used as a train station.
As of this week, the mass casualties involving residents appeared to be decreasing as Moscow focused on capturing the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
Odessa is Ukraine’s largest port and the headquarters of its navy.