A Russian missile strike destroyed an administrative building in southern Ukraine, but the intended target of the attack, the mayor of the city, was sleeping in and thus avoided the assassination attempt.

The building, located in Mykolaiv, now has a large hole in the center from the rocket barrage, and rescue workers are still searching for about 11 people who may have been inside the building when the attack took place.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russian forces are attempting to target Ukrainian officials on multiple levels of government far more aggressively in recent days. He has accused Russian forces of kidnapping, then either disappearing the local mayors or leaving them dead in a statement from Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv.

The lucky official was Vitaly Kim, who became the governor of Mykolaiv back in 2020. He revealed that several dozen people were able to evacuate before the impact of the missile, and shared with outlets that he had indeed slept in.

Unfortunately, other mayors have not been as lucky as Zelensky said. At least two mayors, Ivan Fedorov of Melitopol and Yevheniy Matvieyev, were both abducted by Russian soldiers last month and have not been seen since.

Russia may be escalating attacks on high-value targets and even civilians because of how slowly and poorly the invasion has gone for the country’s military so far. As many as 17,000 Russian soldiers have died in the conflict.

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