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Ukraine Defense Ministry: 44 dead in Dnipro missile strike

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Ukrainian rescue workers have completed their recovery efforts at a residential building that was struck by a Russian missile Saturday. 44 civilians were killed according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Photo by Ukrainian Ministry of Defense/Twitter
Ukrainian rescue workers have completed their recovery efforts at a residential building that was struck by a Russian missile Saturday. 44 civilians were killed according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Photo by Ukrainian Ministry of Defense/Twitter

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Ukrainian rescue workers have finished their search and rescue operations at the site of a Russian strike that hit a residential building in the city of Dnipro on Saturday.

Rescuers saved 39 people, including six children, and 44 people died, including five children, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said Tuesday.

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"Five children have been left orphans," National Police Chief Igor Klymenko said in a statement Tuesday.

Ukrainian Presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych has resigned after erroneously saying the rocket that stuck the residential building in Dnipro was shot down by Ukrainian air defenses on national television after the attack.

RELATED U.N.: More than 7,000 civilians killed in Ukraine war

"I wrote a letter of resignation. I want to set an example of civilized behavior. A fundamental mistake means resignation," Arestovych posted on Facebook. "I sincerely apologize to the victims, their relatives, the residents of Dnipro and everyone who was deeply wounded by my premature error version of the reason the Russian missile hit a residential building."

The Ukrainian military says the missile that struck the building was a Kh-22, a high-speed air-to-surface missile that generally can't be shot down by Ukraine's Russian-manufactured air defenses.

"This missile with a [2,000-pound] warhead, which is called an 'aircraft carrier killer,' is designed to destroy aircraft carrier groups at sea," said Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat. "It can be equipped with a nuclear element. And such a missile was used to hit a densely populated city. There is no explanation or justification for this terrorist act."

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The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said more than 7,000 civilians have been killed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Amongst 18,358 civilian casualties, which include those who were wounded but not killed, are "a total of 7,031 killed (2,784 men, 1,875 women, 177 girls, and 221 boys, as well as 35 children and 1,939 adults whose sex is yet unknown)," the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement Monday.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems missiles and air strikes," the statement continued.

RELATED At least five dead after Russian missiles strike Ukraine's Dnipro

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