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Tragedy Strikes Odesa: Five Killed in Russian Missile Attack, ‘Harry Potter Castle’ Engulfed in Flames

The serene coastal city of Odesa, nestled along the shores of the Black Sea, was rocked by tragedy on Monday as at least five lives were claimed and over 30 individuals left injured in a devastating missile attack. Ukrainian authorities, grappling with the aftermath, have pointed fingers at Russia for the assault.

Dramatic footage captured the horror of the assault, showcasing a barrage of explosions ripping through the cityscape in rapid succession. The chilling scenes, released by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, depicted bomblets raining down, leaving destruction in their wake, particularly targeting an area close to the picturesque seafront.

Adding to the heartbreak, the iconic silhouette of an educational institution, affectionately dubbed the “Harry Potter castle” by locals for its striking resemblance to the fictional wizard’s magical abode, was engulfed in flames. The cone-shaped towers and roof, once symbols of learning and enchantment, now stood shrouded in smoke and devastation.

Authorities suspect that Russia employed an Iskander ballistic missile, coupled with cluster munitions, to unleash the assault. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Andriy Kostin, revealed grim details, stating that metal shrapnel and missile debris were discovered scattered within a wide radius, signaling the lethal force of the strike.

Tragically, the casualties included two children and a pregnant woman among the injured, underscoring the indiscriminate nature of the attack. Moreover, nearly 20 residential buildings and vital infrastructure lay damaged in its wake, further deepening the toll on the community.

The deployment of cluster munitions, prohibited under international law by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, adds another layer of condemnation to the assault. Despite the treaty’s proscription, the conflict in Ukraine has seen their utilization by both sides, with the United States also implicated due to their transfer of such weaponry as part of military aid.

In a grim turn of events, Russian officials claim to have intercepted a significant missile and drone onslaught by Ukrainian forces, particularly targeting airfields in occupied Crimea. The Kremlin-appointed civilian head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, issued warnings of unexploded ordnance, urging caution among residents.

However, amid the chaos, a veil of uncertainty shrouds the veracity of Russia’s claims, with Ukrainian authorities maintaining silence and independent verification elusive. The absence of corroborating evidence, coupled with a dearth of visual documentation of the purported Ukrainian attack, leaves many questions unanswered.

As the dust settles and the echoes of destruction reverberate through Odesa, the resilient spirit of its inhabitants stands unbowed, grappling with the aftermath of yet another harrowing assault in the ongoing conflict.