Kyiv – The death toll from a weekend Russian missile attack at an apartment building in southeastern Ukraine rose to 41 on Tuesday after the body of a child was pulled from the rubble, officials said.
Another 25 residents of the construction city of Dnipro are still missing, according to Valentyn Reznichenko, the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, of which Dnipro is the capital.
Rescuers have cleared about 90% of the debris during a 63-hour search since Saturday’s strike, he said.
There are 79 wounded, he said, of whom 28 are hospitalized and 10 are in serious condition.
The recent deadly Russian attack on a civilian target in the nearly eleven-month war triggered outrage.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to bring those responsible to justice, saying it was “a fundamental task” for Ukraine and its Western allies.
“This strike in Dnipro, as well as other similar strikes, specifically falls within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” he said in a video address late Monday.
“And we will use all available avenues – both domestic and international – to ensure that all Russian killers, anyone issuing and carrying out missile terror orders against our people, are brought to justice. And to make sure they serve their sentences,” he said.
Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the weekend’s long-range missile barrage, the first of its kind in two weeks, targeted Ukraine’s power grid.
But the ministry identified the missile that hit the Dnipro apartment building as an anti-ship missile that is “notoriously inaccurate when used against ground targets, as its radar guidance system is poor at distinguishing targets in urban areas.”
Similar missiles were used in other incidents that claimed high civilian casualties, including an attack on a shopping center in central Ukraine Kremenchuk last June.
Such incidents have helped strengthen international support for Ukraine in its fight against the Kremlin invasion. The winter has seen fighting slow down, but military analysts say a renewed push from both sides is likely once the weather improves.
US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and other US officials met with Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Monday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said. They reaffirmed Washington’s “strong and unwavering commitment to Ukraine,” he said.
US Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Monday visited Ukrainian troops training under US commanders at a military base in Germany.
More than 600 Ukrainian soldiers began the expanded training program at the camp the day before.
“This is no ordinary rotation,” Milley told the commanders. “This is one of those moments when you want to make a difference, then that’s it.”
First Lady of Ukraine also helped solidify Western support and acquire more foreign arms, as she was due to deliver a rare international address at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in the Swiss city of Davos.
Meanwhile, the head of the UN nuclear agency visited the nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on Monday and announced the organization’s permanent presence there to oversee operations and ensure safety.
Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, tweeted late Monday that the agency’s flag was flying over the power plant.
“We are here to help ensure nuclear safety (and) security during the ongoing conflict,” Grossi said, adding that “the IAEA will soon have a permanent presence at all nuclear power plants in Ukraine.”
Ukraine has a total of four nuclear power plants with 16 reactors. One of these, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, was taken over by Russian forces in the early months of the war and remains under their control.
Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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https://www.local10.com/business/2023/01/17/childs-body-taken-from-dnipro-building-strike-deaths-at-41/ Child’s body taken from Dnipro building, strike dead at 41