Dnipro apartment building attack: Death toll rises to 30

Kyiv, Ukraine

The death toll from a Russian missile attack on a Dnipro apartment building has risen to 30, Ukrainian officials said on Sunday, after missiles and explosions were heard across the country.

At least 75 people were injured in Saturday’s attack, 30 of whom are still in hospital, Natalia Babachenko, an adviser to the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, told Ukrainian media.

Twelve of the hospitalized people are in serious condition, including a 9-year-old girl, Babachenko added.

The rescue operation is underway and up to 40 people could still be trapped under the rubble, she said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had previously said that “dozens” of people, including a 3-year-old girl, were rescued from the building, although most of the floors were “smashed” during the strike.

According to the president, Saturday’s strikes destroyed 72 apartments and damaged more than 230 apartments.

Rescue workers are at work on Saturday at the scene of a Russian missile strike in Dnipro, Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Air Force said the Russian missile fired at the apartment building in Dnipro was a Kh-22 — the same type that hit a busy shopping center in central Ukraine last summer.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said the Kh-22 was “fired by a long-range Tu-22M3 bomber launched from the area near Kursk and the Sea of ​​Azov.”

“There were a total of five launches of these missiles,” Ihnat said.

The Kh-22 is an older type of cruise missile that is less accurate than most modern missiles.

Elsewhere, rockets and explosions were heard from Lviv in the west; Kharkov in the northeast; Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro in the southeast; Myokalev in the south; and Kharkiv in the northeast, officials said.

Authorities in Kiev said there was an “attack on the capital”. According to the head of the military administration of the Kiev region, Oleksiy Kuleba, the explosions were heard as early as 6 a.m. local time. Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said there were strikes on the eastern bank of the city, where several power stations were located. The exact locations of the explosions could not be immediately verified by CNN. A thick fog covered much of the city.

However, Oleksandr Pavliuk, a Kiev-based commander in the Ukrainian army, said the explosions in Kiev were not caused by Russian attacks.

“The explosions are not related to the airborne threat or air defense, nor to any military action,” Pavliuk wrote on the encrypted social media app Telegram. “If there had been a threat, you would have heard the alarm. The cause of the explosions will be reported separately.”

Russia’s latest nationwide salvo appeared to target critical infrastructure across Ukraine as the Kremlin continues its efforts to limit the country’s ability to heat and power itself in the middle of winter.

On the battlefield, all eyes are on Soledar, a city of little strategic value that Russia is trying to recapture in hopes of bringing a symbolic victory to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Several units of the Ukrainian army said Soledar remains the scene of “fierce fighting”. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that its forces had taken control of the city, although Kiev has denied this.

After a wide-ranging assessment of the situation on the ground in Ukraine, several Western governments have decided to heed Zelensky’s long-standing call for modern main battle tanks to be delivered to Kiev.

France, Poland and the United Kingdom have promised to soon send tanks for the Ukrainian army to use to defend itself against Russia. Finland is considering following suit. Britain said it plans to send a dozen Challenger 2 tanks and additional artillery systems. Poland plans to send a company of German-made Leopard tanks, while France will provide its domestically built AMX 10-RCs.

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