An overnight drone strike near the Ukrainian port of Odesa sparked a massive fire and explosion, the military said Monday, as Russia’s leadership faced growing resistance to its efforts to call up hundreds of thousands of men to fight in Ukraine.
The airstrike on Odesa was the latest in a series of drone attacks on the key southern city in recent days, and hit a military installation and detonated ammunition when it struck. Firefighters were struggling to contain the blaze, and civilians nearby were evacuated, the Ukrainian military’s southern command said.
The voting, which ends Tuesday, happened after thousands of residents had fled and has included images of armed Russian troops going door-to-door to pressure Ukrainians into casting a ballot. Russia announced the “referendums” as its war on Ukraine has bogged down amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive.