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Ukraine officials accuse Russia of shelling homes in Odesa.

Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine conflict: Odesa turns to network of tunnels to shelter from looming attack'

WATCH: Russia-Ukraine conflict: Odesa turns to network of tunnels to shelter from looming attack

Ukrainian officials accused Russian forces of shelling residential homes in a Black Sea port city on Monday.

The Odesa city council said no one was killed in the strike, which caused a fire that was quickly put out by emergency services. It was the first such attack on the city since the war began on Feb. 24.

Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov visited the site shortly after the reported strikes and said residents will defend it.

“These are residential buildings where peaceful people live,” he said. “We will not leave Odesa and we will fight for our city.”

Odesa is in southwestern Ukraine and has largely avoided the fighting so far, though Russia has ships operating off the Black Sea coast.

Russia has denied targeting civilians throughout the conflict, though many have been killed in intense shelling of Ukrainian cities.

Elsewhere in Ukraine on Monday, officials defied a Russian demand that its forces lay down arms before dawn in Mariupol, where thousands of civilians have been trapped in a city destroyed by Russian bombardment.

Russia’s war on Ukraine, now in its fourth week, has stalled along most fronts. Russia has failed to capture a single major Ukrainian city, the capital Kyiv, or swiftly topple the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Russia calls the war, which is the biggest attack on a European state since the Second World War, a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from “Nazis.”

The West describes it as a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression to subdue a country Russian President Vladimir Putin describes as illegitimate.

The UN human rights office said at least 902 civilians had been killed as of midnight Saturday, though the real toll was probably much higher.

The UN refugee agency said 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced, including some 3.4 million who have fled to neighbouring countries such as Poland.

— with files from Reuters and The Associated Press.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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