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Russia investigated over ‘terrible war crime’ after apartment strike near Odesa

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to the media after the summit of Caspian Sea littoral states in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Thursday, June 30, 2022. (Dmitry Azarov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to the media after the summit of Caspian Sea littoral states in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Thursday, June 30, 2022. (Dmitry Azarov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to the media after the summit of Caspian Sea littoral states in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Thursday, June 30, 2022. (Dmitry Azarov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

War crime investigators in Ukraine are sifting through the wreckage of a nine-storey apartment block near Odesa destroyed by a Russian strike reported to have killed 21 people.

Ukraine’s prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova said investigators were recovering fragments from missiles and taking measurements to determine the trajectory of the weapons, believed to have been Soviet-era anti-ship missiles.

The UK ministry of defence said it believes Russia was resorting to the chaos-inducing projectiles “likely because of dwindling stockpiles of more accurate modern weapons”.

Germany warned Vladimir Putin must be “held to account” over the strike, which Volodymyr Zelensky described as “deliberate direct Russian terror”. Russia has denied targeting the building, insisting “the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine again accused Russia of dropping phosphorus bombs, this time on Snake Island, just a day after Moscow claimed to have retreated from the Black Sea outpost in a “gesture of goodwill”.

Mykolaiv residents were urged to remain in shelters on Saturday as the mayor warned of “powerful explosions” in the southern city.

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