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Russian missile hits Dnipro apartment block, kills at least 30

By Clyde Hughes and Allen Cone & Darryl Coote
Rescuers continued to search for survivors on Sunday after a Russia missile struck a residential building in south-central city of Dnipro overnight. Photo courtesy of Ukrainian President Zelensky/Facebook
1 of 6 | Rescuers continued to search for survivors on Sunday after a Russia missile struck a residential building in south-central city of Dnipro overnight. Photo courtesy of Ukrainian President Zelensky/Facebook

Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The death toll from an overnight Russian strike on an apartment block in the south-central Ukrainian city of Dnipro has risen to 30, Ukrainian officials said Sunday, as rescuers continued to scour the rubble for dozens who many still be trapped under the debris.

Natalia Babachenko, adviser to the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, announced the death toll during a televised address on Sunday, stating rescuers were still working at the site to find between 30 and 40 people, state news agency Ukrinform reported.

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At least 75 people injured in the strike, she said.

In his nightly address Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said among the dead was a 15-year-old girl. Among the dozens rescued include six children, he said.

"The rescue operation will last as long as there is even the slightest chance to save lives," he said.

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Zelensky had earlier said in a post to Telegram that emergency crews managed to rescue 39 people from the rubble. Thirteen children were among those injured in the attack, he said.

The president said 72 apartments in the building were destroyed and more than 230 damaged in the strike.

Ukraine State Emergency Service has set up four tents for its crew and two more for volunteers, as the Russia missile strike sent volunteers and rescue crews scrambling to save lives.

The Dnipro attack, which is 300 miles southeast of Kyiv, is the latest Russian attack on civilian targets in their 11-month invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Air Force identified the missile that hit the building as a Kh-22, the same type that hit a shopping mall in central Ukraine last summer, and which it does not have the capabilities to intercept.

"To shoot down such missiles, we need such systems as Patriot PAC-3 and SAMP-T," it tweeted, continuing Ukraine's call on international parters for more advanced weaponry.

Officials said on Sunday that missiles and explosions were heard across Ukraine, including Lviv in the west, Kharkiv in the northeast, Zaporizhzhia in the southeast and Myokaliv in the south.

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Explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv at about 6 a.m. local time. Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said strikes hit the city's east bank, where several power facilities were located, but it was unclear if the rockets hit their targets.

The latest attacks placed much of Ukraine again under an emergency blackout after missiles hit power infrastructure in several cities.

In response, Zelensky in his nightly address announced sanctions against nearly 200 Russians "who justify terror."

"We will do everything to make the sanctions work on the largest possible scale -- in Europe, in the world," he said.

Germany on Sunday condemned Russia for its attack and its ongoing war in Ukraine, stating it stands firmly with the European country.

"Those responsible for the crimes committed must be held accountable -- from Russian soldiers raping, pillaging & firing missiles on homes in #Dnipro to the leadership ordering these crimes," the German Foreign Office said in a statement on Twitter.

Zelensky in his address thanked those who have offered Ukraine words of condolences and support following the attack, but that he had a message for those in Russia who remain quiet to condemn the war despite knowing its consequences.

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"Your cowardly silence, your attempt to 'wait out' what is happening will only end with those same terrorists coming after you one day," he said.

"Evil is very sensitive to cowardice. Evil always remembers those who fear it or try to bargain with it. And when it comes after you, there will no one to protect you."

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