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

DNIPRO/KYIV: Russia unleashed a new wave of major attacks on Ukraine on Saturday, hitting energy infrastructure across the country and killing at least 12 people in a missile strike on a nine-story building in the city ​​of Dniproofficials said.
Rescue teams worked through the night in freezing temperatures following the attack in Dnipro, central-eastern Ukraine, with local officials saying people were still alive under the huge pile of wrecks.
“They keep texting,” Mikhailo Lysenko, deputy mayor of Dnipro, said in a video on social media. “We stop our work from time to time to keep quiet and we hear people screaming under the rubble.”
Russian strikes also hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv and other places, with Ukraine’s energy minister saying the next few days would be “difficult” with threats to electricity, running water and central heating supplies at the height of winter.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said the number of people killed in the Dnipro apartment attack was likely to rise and he appealed again to his Western allies for more weapons to end “Russian terror” and attacks on civilian targets.
US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink and other Kyiv allies condemned Saturday’s Russian attacks.
“More security aid is coming to help Ukraine defend itself,” Brink said on Twitter, calling the strike on Dnipro “horrible”.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Zelenskiy’s office, said 37 people were rescued from the building and a total of 64 were injured. Zelenskiy said the second through ninth floors of the damaged section of the building had collapsed.
Footage posted to Dnipro Mayor Borys Filatov’s Telegram account showed residents without equipment desperately pulling out what was left of a wrecked car and combing through the rubble on the bottom of a large pile of metal and concrete. The wounded were carried on stretchers.
“You used to come to our town! We treated you like normal people, like parents. What did you do to my son?” a woman, restrained by rescuers, screamed in video from the scene.
Another person was killed and one injured in the steel town of Kryviy Rih where six houses were damaged in Zelenskiy’s hometown, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said.
Further east, in Ukraine’s Donbass region – the focal point of Russia’s drive to conquer more territory – Ukrainian forces were struggling to retain control of the small town of Soledar. Russia has sacrificed large numbers of troops and resources in an attempt to secure a gain after months of setbacks.
In Soledar, where Russian forces refocused their attacks after failing to take the larger nearby center of Bakhmut, Ukraine insisted its forces were fighting to hold the town.
Russia said on Friday that its forces had taken control of the city with a pre-war population of 10,000, which would be a minor advance, but one of psychological significance for Russian forces who have suffered months of setbacks on the battlefield.
But officials acknowledged the situation was difficult, with street fighting raging and Russian forces advancing from various directions.
“Our soldiers are constantly repelling enemy attacks, day and night,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Saturday. “The enemy suffers heavy casualties but continues to carry out the criminal orders of his command.”
Reuters could not immediately verify the situation at Soledar.
In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy called on the West to provide more weapons and repeated Kyiv’s position that the only way to end the war was on the battlefield.
“What do we need for this? The kind of weapons that our partners have in stock 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 plan to send 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 pounded its energy infrastructure with missiles and drones since October, causing power outages and disruptions to central heating and running water. Ukraine shot down 25 of Russia’s 38 missiles of various types on Saturday, the Air Force said.
Missiles hit infrastructure in Kharkiv to the east and Lviv to the west, officials said. Zelenskiy said Kyiv region and Kharkiv regions suffered the worst power outages.
President Maia Sandu of Moldova, the former Soviet state west of Ukraine, denounced the strikes, which left missile debris strewn just inside the country’s border.
“We strongly condemn today’s escalated attacks on Russia and support those who have lost loved ones in Dnipro and across Ukraine,” Sandu, strongly supported by Western nations, said on Twitter. “Peace must prevail.”
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has called Russia a “terrorist state” that brings destruction, death and suffering.
“Atrocities, massacres, attacks on residential buildings – like today in Dnipro – will never be forgiven or forgotten,” Nausėda said on Twitter. “The time for accountability will come.”


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