VLADIMIR Putin prayed at an Easter service as his troops killed a three-month-old baby girl and her mum in a cruise missile strike.
The Russian leader attended midnight mass as pictures emerged of baby Kira in the arms of her doting mum Valerie Hlodan, 27.
They died, along with Valerie’s mother, in a three-missile blitz on Odesa, as Russia bragged about hitting 423 targets in its latest day of slaughter.
An emotional Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky, said: “The war started when this baby was one month. Can you imagine what is happening? They are filthy scum. There are no other words for it.”
Russia claimed it hit military targets including command posts, bases and gun lines.
But Valerie, 27, Kira and Kira’s gran Liudmila Yavkina, 53, were killed when a long-range cruise missile hit an apartment block in a residential part of the city.
Kira and Valerie had moved into Liudmila’s home in Tairove, Odesa, because they thought it was safer than their high-rise flat close to the airport.
At least 18 people were also wounded, officials said.
Hours later, a puffy-faced Putin attended a midnight mass in Moscow led by his patsy priest Patriarch Kirill.
The President fuelled more speculation he is battling Parkinson’s or another serious illness after he appeared “unsteady and distracted” at the service.
When Kirill announced “Christ has risen”, Putin joined the congregation’s reply: “Truly he is risen.”
Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has refused to condemn Putin’s bloodbath which has killed about 25,000 troops and tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians.
He said Russia was fighting a noble war of “metaphysical significance”. In a sermon, he prayed to “inspire young soldiers” defending the fatherland.
Ex-Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said it was Kirill’s Christian duty to “condemn the killing of your own flock”.
More than 300 priests in Ukraine begged faith leaders to drag Kirill, 75, in front of a church tribunal.
In Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, just 12 miles from the Russian border, worshippers at a Russian church accused the West of starting the war yesterday.
It came as pictures emerged of a bombed-out church in Gorenka on the outskirts of Kyiv.
In an Easter message, Zelensky said: “Today gives us great hope and unwavering faith that light will overcome darkness, good will overcome evil, life will overcome death, and therefore Ukraine will surely win.”
But hopes of an Easter ceasefire were dashed as Russia’s forces launched new attacks in Mariupol with long-range heavy bombers.
Thousands of troops and hundreds of civilians, including women and children, are holed up beneath the Azovstal steel plant, the last place in the city not under Russian control.
Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki blasted Russian soldiers as criminals for unleashing genocide there.
Zelensky discussed the siege in a call with Boris Johnson on Saturday and in talks with Turkey’s President Erdogan — who has offered to broker a humanitarian evacuation.
Attempts to open a humanitarian corridor failed again yesterday.
And shocking aerial images showed the devastation in Mariupol where officials warned mass grave hold up to 9,000 people’s remains.
Zelensky said Ukraine had intercepted Russian calls as soldiers described “how they are concealing the traces of their crimes”.
British defence intelligence said Ukraine had repelled repeated assaults and “inflicted significant costs” after Putin launched his dreaded second wave onslaught to capture eastern Donbas.
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