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Dozens of civilians killed in deadliest Russian attack in months

Filatov said two stairwells containing dozens of apartments were destroyed.

Russia launched two waves of missiles in Ukraine on Saturday, hitting targets across the country as fighting escalated on the battlefields in the eastern towns of Soledar and Bakhmut.

Paramedics clear debris after Russian rockets hit a skyscraper in Dnipro.credit:APs

Moscow, which invaded last February, has been attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with missiles and drones since October, causing major blackouts and disruptions to central heating and water supplies.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not mention Dnipro as a specific target in its statement on Sunday about the day before the attack.

“All allocated objects have been hit. Strike goals achieved.”

Rescuers struggled through the night looking for survivors. On Sunday morning they were seen punching and kicking piles of crushed concrete and twisted metal.

Up to 40 people remain missing in the wreckage of Russian missile-hit homes.

Up to 40 people remain missing in the wreckage of Russian missile-hit homes. credit:Getty

“Two rooms on the second floor remain virtually intact but are buried,” Oleh Kushniruk, deputy director of the local branch of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service, said on television.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian Southern Command said Russia had only fired half of the cruise missiles deployed in the Black Sea during Saturday’s offensive.

“This shows that they still have specific plans,” said spokesperson Natalia Humenyuk. “We have to understand that we can still use it.”


ask for more weapons

In his nightly speeches after the attack, Zelensky called on Western allies to supply more weapons to end “Russian terrorism” and attacks on civilian targets.

The latest offensive comes as Western powers consider sending battle tanks to Kyiv, with the government announcing its latest pledge of military aid ahead of a meeting of Ukrainian allies in Ramstein, Germany next Friday. It happened when

Britain on Saturday said it would follow France and Poland in pledging additional weapons, sending 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks and other advanced artillery support in the coming weeks.

The first deployment of Western-made tanks to Ukraine is likely to be seen by Moscow as an escalation of the conflict. The Russian embassy in London said tanks would prolong the confrontation.

The Russian invasion has already killed thousands, displaced millions from their homes and reduced many cities to rubble.

Battle of Solder

In the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, the focal point of Russia’s push to gain more territory, Ukrainian forces were fighting around the small salt-mining town of Soledar.

Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Command of Ukraine, told Ukrainian television that Russian forces had shelled the area around Soledar and Bakhmut 234 times in the past 24 hours.

Russia said on Friday that its forces had taken control of Soledar, which had a pre-war population of 10,000. It’s a small step forward, but one that will be psychologically significant for the Russian military after months of setbacks on the battlefield.

Ukraine claimed on Saturday that its forces were fighting to hold the town, but officials acknowledged the situation was difficult, with street fighting escalating and Russian forces advancing from different directions.

“Our soldiers are repelling enemy attacks at all hours of the day and night,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Marial said on Saturday. “Even though the enemy has suffered heavy losses, they continue to carry out the criminal orders under their command.”

The Washington-based War Research Institute said it was highly unlikely that Ukrainian forces still held positions within Soledar.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the situation in the town.

Putin said what he called a special military operation was showing positive trends and hoped Russian soldiers would bring further gains after Soledar.

“The dynamics are positive,” he told Russia 1 state television. “Everything is developing within the framework of the plans of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff.”

Reuters, AP

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