(Bloomberg) -- At least seven deaths were reported following a Russian drone strike on an apartment building in Ukraine’s Black Sea city of Odesa early Saturday. 

Separately, a UAV was suspected of hitting a residential building in Russia’s St. Petersburg, hundreds of miles from the border, and Ukraine’s Air Defense chief said Kyiv downed a Russian Su-34 fighter jet - the latest in a recent string of attacks on military aircraft.

Ukraine said it shot down 14 out of 17 “Shahed”-type drones launched from Russian territory and occupied Crimea. The UAVs were concentrated in Kharkiv and the Sumy region in the northeast as well as Odesa  

At least 18 apartments were destroyed in the strike and the death toll has risen steadily over the day. Among the victims was a three-month old infant and his mother, and a three-year-old boy. 

Rescue efforts continue around the building, which had its facade ripped off by the force of the strike. 

“We need more air defense capabilities from our partners. The Ukrainian air shield must be strengthened in order to effectively protect our people,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a post on X. 

Three Kha-59/Kha-35 guided missiles were launched by Kremlin forces from the occupied Donetsk and Kherson regions of Ukraine, Air Defense said on Telegram.

In St. Petersburg, a loud explosion was heard after a suspected drone crashed into an apartment block, local media reported. Russia’s second largest city is about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the Ukrainian border.  

The strike caused minor damage, St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov said on his Telegram channel, without confirming that a drone was involved. Ukraine hasn’t commented on the incident. 

St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport was closed briefly on Saturday evening in what local media said was potential drone activity near the deepwater seaport of Bronka on the Gulf of Finland. 

The port is a part of Leningrad region and is the only deepwater terminal in the Big Port of St. Petersburg. Leningrad region’s governor Aleksander Drozdenko posted a video of air defense system destroying a drone on his VK social network account, adding that nothing was damaged and there was no causalities.


‘Under Control’ 

Armed forces commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said earlier the situation on the front line in Ukraine’s east remains “difficult, but under control” in a Facebook post after spending three days in the region. 

Syrskyi, who was appointed by Zelenskiy last month, said he realized why some brigades manage to hold back Russian attacks and hold their positions, while others do not, despite similar staffing, weapons and equipment. 

“When the commander doesn’t control the situation, and actions and commands directly threaten the life and health of subordinates, I am forced to make personnel decisions,” he added, without elaborating. 

Read more: Ukraine Leaving Besieged Avdiivka Under Russian Pressure 

(Updates with a port near St. Petersburg being attacked in 11th paragraph.)

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