President Zelensky condemns Russians for their ‘cowardly silence’ over missile strike on Ukrainian tower block as death toll rises to 30 – with girl, 15, among the victims
- Harrowing images show the total destruction of one civilian high-rise in Dnipro
- Firefighters extinguished the blaze and rescuers are now hunting for survivors
- Dozens more are feared dead and buried under the huge mountain of rubble
President Volodymyr Zelensky has attacked the Russian people’s ‘cowardly silence’ over a missile strike which hit a Ukrainian tower block, killing at least 30 people.
The death toll in Dnipro has continued to rise after an apartment building in the eastern city was struck by one of Vladimir Putin’s weapons on Saturday, January 14.
The incident, which has left dozens dead, including a 15-year-old girl, and injured scores more, has drawn condemnation from around the world as the war continues to rage.
In his evening speech to the nation, the Ukrainian premier addressed potential Russian listeners directly, saying they ‘could not utter a few words of condemnation of this terror’.
Rescue workers carry a woman from the debris of the tower block in Dnipro on Sunday, a day after it was struck by a Russian missile
Emergency personnel have worked round the clock to try and rescue casualties in the damaged building
Speaking in Russian, the 44-year-old told people living in the Putin-controlled state: ‘Your cowardly silence, your attempt to ‘wait out’ what is happening, will only end with the fact that one day these same terrorists will come for you.’
The president said that two children had reportedly been left orphans in the attack and that rescuers are still searching the rubble for 30 missing people.
Rescue efforts are being hampered by freezing temperatures as winter bites in the eastern European nation.
The 15-year-old victim was named as Maria Lebid by Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.
He tweeted: ‘Maria Lebid, 15. Another victim of Russian rocket strike on Dnipro.
‘My 15 year old, supersmart, supertalented and super funny sister is gone (rocket hit our home)’ – her sister wrote.
‘Maria’s mom was at work that day. RIP, Maria.’
President Volodymyr Zelensky has attacked the Russian people’s ‘cowardly silence’ over a missile strike which hit a Ukrainian tower block, killing at least 30 people
Firefighters gather around the collapsed building to fight the flames after the missile attack on Saturday
A woman is carried from the rubble by rescuers in Dnipro on Sunday, January 15, the day after the attack
Earlier in the day Mr Gerashchenko, named two women as the first victims of the attack.
He said: ‘Olga and Iryna. Dentists and volunteers. They treated our Defenders, including those who returned from captivity.
‘They are two of the victims of yesterday’s Russian attack on Dnipro – the women were walking past the building to a gym. RIP, Olga and Iryna.’
Regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said seven children were among those transported to hospital with severe injuries.
The missile that hit the apartment building was a Kh-22 launched from Russia’s Kursk region, according to the military’s air force command.
The entire block was obliterated into a mountain of brick and mortar, with twisted bits of charred metal strewn about nearby streets.
Workers used a crane as they tried to rescue people trapped on upper floors of the apartment tower, where about 1,700 were living. Some residents also signalled for help with lights on their mobile phones.
Zelensky said: ‘Search and rescue operations and the dismantling of dangerous structural elements continues. Around the clock. We continue to fight for every life.’
Firefighters were deployed to hose down the flames in the aftermath of the attack as rescuers began to pick through the wreckage in the hope of finding survivors.
The attacks also targeted the capital, Kyiv, and the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, ending a two-week lull in Moscow’s strikes on Ukraine’s power infrastructure and urban centres.
A cat is carried to safety after being pulled from the rubble of the building by a rescue worker
Russia fired 33 cruise missiles on Saturday, of which 21 were shot down, according to General Valeriy Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces.
Ivan Garnuk was in his apartment when the building was hit and said he felt lucky to have survived. He described his shock that the Russians would strike a residential building with no strategic value.
He said: ”There are no military facilities here. There is nothing here. There is no air defence, there are no military bases here. It just hit civilians, innocent people.’
Dnipro residents joined rescue workers at the scene to help clear the rubble. Others brought food and warm clothes for those who had lost their homes.
Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday its forces had launched a wave of missile strikes against Ukrainian military and infrastructure sites on Saturday.
The Russian defence ministry did not mention Dnipro as a specific target of any strikes.
In its statement Russia said: ‘All assigned objects were hit. The targets of the strike have been achieved.’
Separately, Putin said the special military operation was showing a positive trend and that he hoped Russian soldiers would deliver further gains after Soledar.
‘The dynamic is positive,’ Putin told Rossiya 1 state television.
More than 1,000 people were living in the apartment block when it was hit by the Russian missile
Rescue workers are operating under highly dangerous conditions with much of the building completely destroyed
A woman holds her hands to her face as she deals with the sight of the horrific strike on her home
No one was reported hurt there, but missile debris caused a major fire at one ‘critical infrastructure object’ and damaged houses on the outskirts of the city, officials said.
A pair of missiles rained down on the industrial district of Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, the regional governor reported.
Moscow’s fresh aerial assault comes as both sides continue a bitter fight for the towns of Bakhmut and Soledar in Ukraine’s embattled eastern region of Donetsk.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today told Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that Britain will soon deliver a squadron of Challenger 2 battle tanks to help ‘push Russian troops back’ as a sign of the UK’s ‘ambition to intensify support for Ukraine.’
Confirming his decision to provide 14 British tanks to Kyiv during a call with Mr Zelensky, the Prime Minister will now deploy his ministers on an international diplomatic blitz in an attempt to gain widespread support and heap pressure to follow his lead in taking advantage of a ‘window of opportunity’ to support Ukraine.
Officials said the decision was made after Mr Sunak ‘analysed the military picture’.
Rescue team work among the rubble of a damaged residential building hit by shelling in Dnipro, southeastern Ukraine, 14 January 2023
Emergency workers clear rubble with many people under debris in the southeastern city of Dnipro, Ukraine, January 14, 2023
Harrowing images from the scene show how an entire block was obliterated into a mountain of brick and mortar, Dnipro, Ukraine, January 14, 2023
Emergency workers clear the rubble after a Russian rocket hit a multistory building leaving many people under debris in Dnipro, Ukraine, Saturday, January 14, 2023
Rescuers work on a residential building destroyed after a missile strike, in Dnipro, Ukraine, January 14, 2023
Emergency workers and local residents pick through rubble in a desperate attempt to dig out survivors
A view shows an apartment building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine
Local residents clear the rubble after a Russian rocket hit a multistory building leaving many people under debris in Dnipro, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023
Emergency workers clear the rubble after a Russian rocket hit a multistory building leaving many people under debris in Dnipro, Ukraine, January 14, 2023
Rescuers and local residents evacuate a wounded man after a missile strike on a residential building in Dnipro, Ukraine, January 14, 2023
Emergency workers clear the rubble after a Russian rocket hit a multistory building leaving many people under debris in Dnipro, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023
Firefighters were deployed to hose down the flames and a rescue operation is underway to save any survivors
Critical infrastructure in Kyiv was targeted in this morning’s attacks, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said on Telegram.
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An unidentified infrastructure object was hit in the city and emergency services were operating at the site of the strike, Kyiv’s city military administration said.
Explosions were heard in the Dniprovskyi district, a residential area on the left bank of the Dnieper River, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
He added that fragments of a missile fell on a non-residential area in the Holosiivskyi district on the right bank, and a fire broke out in a building there.
No casualties have been reported so far, as civilians piled into the metro tunnels below the city and waited for the raid to end.
Elderly civilians played music and danced as waited for the air raid sirens to abate.
Earlier on Saturday, two Russian missiles hit Kharkiv – regional governor Oleh Synehubov said Putin’s troops fired two S-300 missiles at the industrial district of Kharkiv.
The strikes targeted ‘energy and industrial objects of Kharkiv and the (outlying) region,’ Synehubov said.
No casualties have been reported, but emergency power cuts in the city and other settlements of the region were possible, the official said.
The attacks come amid conflicting reports on the fate of the fiercely contested salt mining town of Soledar, in Ukraine’s embattled eastern region of Donetsk.
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