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Firefighters walking in devasted streets in Odessa

Consequences of Russian missile strikes in Odessa

Anna Akage, Jeff Israely and Cameron Manley

Today is the 61st day of the war in Ukraine. While military attention is still very much focused on Donbas, where the main front of the war is now, the Russian army continues to launch missile strikes across Ukraine, targeting critical infrastructure, railway stations, and, most importantly, residential buildings, killing countless Ukrainian civilians.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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It's been a week since the start of Russia's all-out offensive on eastern Ukraine — so are the Kremlin's forces anywhere near a breakthrough?

Phillips O'Brien, a professor of strategic studies at the University of St Andrews, told BBC that airstrikes on civilians shows the true face of Russian army. The fact the Russians aren't letting them rest, he continues, "is a sign of either stupidity or desperation".

"These soldiers that were taken out of Kyiv were defeated soldiers — they'd seen and they had committed war crimes, they had seen people die, they were exhausted, their equipment had gone," says O’Brien.

Saturday, a missile struck Odessa, where it destroyed an apartment building and killed eight people, including a three-month-old baby.

Russian shelling in Vinnytsia region has left an undetermined number of dead and wounded, while on Sunday airstrikes hit Lviv, with an explosion occurring near the railway station.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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