Mother killed with her baby in Odesa attack posted about ‘new level of happiness’ after birth

A mother and her three-month old baby were among six people killed by a missile strike on Ukraine on Saturday,

The mother, named in local reports as Valerie Glodan, had posted on social media just a few weeks ago saying she had experienced a “new level of happiness” since the birth.

“These were the best 40 weeks ever. Our girl is 1 month old now. Daddy got her from her her from her first flowers from her. It’s a whole new level of happiness,” she wrote on Instagram.

In a press conference on Saturday, President Zelensky mourned the death of the infant, telling reporters: “The war started when this baby was one month old. Can you imagine what is happening?

“They are just bastards. … I don’t have any other words for it, just bastards.”

Ukraine officials said they died in the southern port city of Odesa, when two missiles struck a military facility and two residential buildings. More than a dozen civilians were injured in the attack, the president’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak said.

Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister, said in a Telegram post that Ukrainian forces were able to shoot down several missiles, but at least one landed and exploded.

A residential building damaged by the blast as Russia’s assault continues


“Residents of the city heard explosions in different areas,” Mr Gerashchenko wrote. “Residential buildings were hit.”

“The only aim of Russian missile strikes on Odesa is terror,” Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

Russia has denied targeting civilians in its “special military operation” that began on 24 February.

Russia intensifies attacks on Mariupol steel plant

Russian forces in Ukraine tried to storm a steel plant housing soldiers and civilians in the southern city of Mariupol on Saturday in an attempt to crush the last corner of resistance in a place of deep symbolic and strategic value to Moscow, Ukrainian officials said.

The reported assault on the eve of Orthodox Easter came after the Kremlin claimed its military had seized all of the shattered city except for the Azovstal plant, and as Russian forces pounded other cities and towns in southern and eastern Ukraine.

The attack on Mariupol, the biggest battle of the conflict, has raged for weeks as Russia seeks to capture a city seen as vital to its attempts to link the eastern Donbas region with Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Moscow seized in 2014.

Service members of pro-Russian troops, including fighters of the Chechen special forces unit, stand in front of the destroyed administration building of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works


Russia’s defense ministry on Friday said Mariupol’s last fighters had been “securely blocked” at the steel plant. On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin had declared the city “liberated”, declaring that troops would not storm Azovstal.

Oleksiy Arestovych, a political adviser to Zelenskiy, said Ukrainian troops in the steel complex were holding out and attempting counterattacks. More than 1,000 civilians are also in the plant, according to Ukrainian authorities.

A new attempt to evacuate Ukrainian civilians from the besieged city failed on Saturday, an aid to the city’s mayor said on his Telegram channel, blaming Russian forces.

The official said 200 residents of Mariupol had gathered to be evacuated, but that the Russian military told them to disperse and warned of possible shelling.

Three killed in Russian shelling in Kharkiv region, Ukraine says

Firefighters work at the scene of a fire after shelling in Kharkiv on Saturday


Three people were also killed and seven wounded by Russian shelling in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv on Saturday, the region’s governor said.

Ukrainian authorities said earlier on Saturday that shelling had killed two civilians in a frontline town in the Luhansk region. Moscow denies its forces target civilians.

Zelensky says US officials to visit on Sunday

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, announced he would meet Sunday in Kyiv with the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and with the US secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin. The White House declined comment.

This map shows the extent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

(Press Association Images)

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Zelensky gave little detail about the logistics of the encounter but said he expected concrete results — “not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons.”

The UK is to provide Ukraine with more military equipment, the prime minister has confirmed in a phone conversation with president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Boris Johnson told Mr Zelensky more armored vehicles, drones and anti-tank weapons would be sent to Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesman said.

Mr Zelensky thanked the PM for the training of more than 20 Ukrainian troops who arrived in the UK last week.

President Zelensky updated Mr Johnson on the situation in the Donbas, where Russia has been concentrating its military efforts in recent days. Both leaders condemned ongoing attacks by Russian forces against civilian targets, including in Mariupol, Odessa and Lviv.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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