DNIPRO – Rescuers in Ukraine on Sunday pulled survivors from the rubble of a residential building hit by a Russian missile a day earlier in the southeastern city of Dnipro.
Emergency crews worked during this frosty night in a high-rise apartment building, when the death toll rose to 23 people, according to the city authorities. The losses were the greatest from the flurry of Russian strikes in several cities in Ukraine on Saturday.
Attacks also targeted the capital Kyiv and the northeastern city of Kharkiv, ending a two-week lull in the Moscow strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and urban centers.
Russia launched 33 cruise missiles on Saturday, of which 21 were shot down, said the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valery Zaluzhny.
In Dnieper, workers used a crane to rescue people who were trapped on the upper floors of an apartment building where about 1,700 people live. Some residents signaled for help with the lights on their mobile phones.
The Dnieper government reported on Sunday afternoon that at least 72 people were injured and 43 people were missing. It is reported that 39 people have been rescued so far.
Ivan Hornuk was in his apartment at the time of the shooting and said he was lucky to be alive. He described his shock that the Russians would strike a residential building of no strategic importance.
“There are no military facilities here. There is nothing here,” he said. “There is no air defense here, no military bases. It just hit civilians, innocent people.”
Residents of the Dnieper helped the rescuers at the scene to clear debris. Others brought food and warm clothes for those who lost their homes.
“This is clearly terrorism, and all this is simply not humane,” said one of the local residents, Artyom Myzychenko, while clearing the debris.
Taking responsibility for missile strikes on the territory of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense of Russia said on Sunday that it had achieved its goal.
“All marked targets have been hit. The goal of the attack has been achieved,” the ministry said in a statement published on Telegram. It says that the missiles were fired “at Ukraine’s military command system and related energy facilities,” and makes no mention of the attack on a residential building in Dnieper.
On Sunday, Russian troops attacked a residential area in the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich reported on Telegram. According to preliminary information, two people were injured.
The renewed Russian airstrikes came amid fierce fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, where the Russian military says it controls the small salt-mining town of Saledar, but Ukraine says its troops are still fighting.
If the Russian forces gain full control of Saledar, it will allow them to get closer to the larger city of Bakhmut. The battle for Bakhmut went on for months, bringing heavy losses on both sides.
With the heavy war approaching the 11-month mark, Britain has announced that it will supply tanks to Ukraine, the first donation of such heavy weapons. While the promise of 14 Challenger 2 tanks appears modest, Ukrainian officials believe it will trigger donations of additional tanks from other Western partners.
“The dispatch of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine marks the beginning of a shift in the UK’s support,” British Prime Minister Risha Sunak’s office said in a statement late Saturday. “A squadron of 14 tanks will travel to the country in the coming weeks after the Prime Minister told President (Vladimir) Zelensky that Britain would provide additional support to help Ukraine in the ground war. About 30 AS90s, which are large self-propelled guns manned by five gunners, are expected to follow.’
According to officials, Sunak hopes other Western allies will follow suit as part of a coordinated international effort to boost support for Ukraine ahead of the first anniversary of the invasion next month.
Britain’s defense secretary plans to travel to Estonia and Germany this week to work with NATO allies, while the foreign secretary plans to visit the US and Canada to discuss closer coordination.
Meldrum reported from Kiev. Sylvia Hui reported from London.
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