At least 40 dead after Russian strike on Dnipro apartment block in deadliest attack of Ukraine war

Rescue workers clear the rubble from an apartment building that was destroyed in a Russian rocket attack
Rescue workers clear the rubble from an apartment building that was destroyed in a Russian rocket attack. Credit: AP

At least 40 people were killed after a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in Dnipro in what is one of the deadliest attacks of the 11-month long war in Ukraine.

Thirty people remained missing on Monday as rescuers continued to search for victims and survivors in the wreckage of the building.

About 1,700 people lived in the apartment block. Thirty-nine people had been rescued and at least 75 were wounded, the local authority said.Oleksander Anyskevych said he was in his apartment when the missile struck.“Boom - and that’s it. We saw that we were alive and that’s all,” Anyskevych said on Monday as he went to the site to see his wrecked apartment.

Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighter carries a wounded woman out of the rubble from a building hit by a Russian rocket. Credit: AP

He told The Associated Press that he knew people who died under the rubble. One of his son’s classmates lost her parents.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, called the strike, and others like it, “inhumane aggression” because it directly targeted civilians. “There will be no impunity for these crimes,” he said in a tweet on Sunday.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the strike saying “attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law” that “must end immediately."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted the Russian military does not target residential buildings and suggested the Dnipro building was hit as a result of Ukrainian air defence actions.

Residents were left trapped in the rubble after the strike. Credit: AP

Fierce fighting continued to rage on Monday in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk province, where military analysts have said both sides are likely suffering heavy troop casualties.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, reported signs of the Kremlin taking steps to turn its Ukraine invasion into "a major conventional war” after months of embarrassing military reversals.

It comes as the UK confirmed it will be sending hundreds more armoured vehicles to Ukraine, including Challenger 2 tanks.

Detailing the package in the Commons on Monday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Hundreds more armoured and protective vehicles will also be sent, including Bulldog, a manoeuvre support package including minefield breaching and bridging capabilities worth £28 million and dozens more uncrewed aerial systems worth £20 million to support Ukrainian artillery.

The UK is set to cut the number of Challenger tanks in its Army by a third Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

“Another 100,000 artillery rounds on top of 100,000 rounds already delivered.

“Hundreds more sophisticated missiles, including GMLRS rockets, Starstreak air defence and medium-range air defence missiles.”

The Kremlin has sought to downplay the significance of the UK’s move to supply increasingly more advanced weapons to aid the resistance.

The prime minister hopes the UK’s intensifying support will increase the pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin and galvanise support among Western allies.

Rishi Sunak signed off on sending 14 British Army Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Kyiv, as well as around 30 AS90 self-propelled guns during a call with Ukrainian leader Mr Zelensky over the weekend.Next month will mark the first anniversary of Mr Putin’s invasion, what the Kremlin call a "special operation".

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