Russian strikes hit targets across Ukraine, killing at least 12 people in Dnipro

  • Twelve dead in a nine-story building
  • More than 60 injured people turned into the rubble of part of a building
  • Russian missiles have again hit energy facilities across the country
  • Zelensky calls for more weapons to fight Russia

DNIPR/Kyiv (Reuters) – Russia unleashed a new wave of high-profile attacks on Ukraine on Saturday, targeting energy infrastructure across the country and at least 12 people were killed in a missile attack on a nine-storey apartment building in the city. Dnipro officials said.

Rescue teams worked through the night in freezing temperatures in the aftermath of the attack in Dnipro, in east-central Ukraine, where local officials said people were still alive under the huge pile of debris.

“Keep sending SMS,” Mykhailo Lysenko, deputy mayor of Dnipro, said in a video on social media. “We stop our work from time to time to remain silent and hear people screaming from under the rubble.”

Russian strikes have also hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv and elsewhere, with Ukraine’s energy minister saying the days ahead will be “difficult” with threats to electricity supplies, running water and central heating in the height of winter.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the death toll from the attack on an apartment in Dnipro was likely to rise and made a fresh appeal to his Western allies for more weapons to end “Russian terrorism” and attacks on civilian targets.

US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink and other Kyiv allies condemned the Russian attacks on Saturday.

“More security assistance is coming to help Ukraine defend itself,” Brink said on Twitter, describing the strike on Dnipro as “horrific”.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy chief of Zelensky’s office, said 37 people were rescued from the building and 64 people were injured. Zelinsky said the second to ninth floors of the affected part of the building collapsed.

Pictures posted on Boris Filatov’s Telegram account showed residents of Dnipro Mayor, desperate residents removing what was left of a wrecked car and combing through the rubble against the backdrop of a large pile of metal and concrete. The wounded were carried out on stretchers.

“You used to come to our city! We treated you like normal people, like relatives. What have you done to my son?” A woman, restrained by rescuers, screams in video from the scene.

Another person was killed and another wounded in the steel-making city of Kryvyi Rih, where six houses were damaged in Zelensky’s hometown, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkol said.

Fighting for SOLEDAR

To the east, in Ukraine’s Donbass region – the focal point of Russia’s campaign to grab more territory – Ukrainian forces have been fighting for control of the small town of Soledar. Russia has sacrificed large numbers of troops and resources in an effort to secure gains after months of setbacks.

At Solidar, where Russian forces refocused their attacks after failing to capture the larger nearby center of Bakhmut, Ukraine insisted its forces were fighting to take control of the city.

Russia said on Friday its forces had taken control of the town, which had a pre-war population of 10,000, in what would be a small advance but one that holds psychological significance for Russian forces who have suffered months of setbacks on the battlefield.

But officials acknowledged that the situation is difficult, street fighting is raging, and Russian forces are advancing from different directions.

“Our soldiers are constantly repelling enemy attacks, day and night,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Saturday. “The enemy suffers heavy losses, but continues to carry out the criminal orders of his leadership.”

Reuters could not immediately verify the situation in Solidar.

Zelensky: We need more weapons

In his nightly video address, Zelensky pleaded with the West to supply him with more weapons and reiterated Kyiv’s position that the only way to end the war is on the battlefield.

“What is needed for this? The kind of weapons that our partners have in stocks and that our warriors expect. The whole world knows what and how to stop those who sow death,” he said.

Saturday’s attack comes as Western powers consider sending battle tanks to Kyiv and ahead of a meeting of Ukraine’s allies in Ramstein, Germany, next Friday, where governments will announce their latest pledges of military support.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine last February, has been bombing energy infrastructure with missiles and drones since October, causing blackouts and disrupting central heating and running water. On Saturday, Ukraine shot down 25 out of 38 Russian missiles of various types, he said.

Officials said the missiles hit infrastructure in Kharkiv in the east and Lviv in the west. Zelensky said that the Kyiv and Kharkiv regions suffered the worst cases of power outages.

The President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, the ex-Soviet country to the west of Ukraine, has decried the strikes, which left missile debris strewn within the country’s borders.

“We strongly condemn the intensified attacks of Russia today and stand with those who lost loved ones in Dnipro and across Ukraine,” Sandu, who is strongly backed by Western countries, said on Twitter. Peace must prevail.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausuda has called Russia a “terrorist state” that brings destruction, death and suffering.

“Atrocities, mass killings and attacks on apartment buildings – as is the case today in Dnipro – will not be forgiven nor forgotten,” Nosoda said on Twitter. The time for accountability will come.”

Written by Tom Palmforth, Ronald Popeskey, and Lydia Kelly; Editing by Angus McSwan, Mark Heinrichs, Thomas Janowski, Francis Kerry and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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