NEWS Russian missile strikes several Ukrainian cities causing death, power outage | Russo-Ukrainian war news

Russian missile strikes several Ukrainian cities causing death, power outage | Russo-Ukrainian war news

Russia fired a new round of missiles at targets across Ukraine, killing at least 12 people in the eastern-central city of Dnipro and disrupting power supplies in the Kyiv and Kharkiv regions, officials said.

Saturday’s attack destroyed a nine-storey apartment building in Dnipro, leaving it in ruins and sending smoke billowing into the sky. A 15-year-old girl was among the dead, according to officials.

About 64 others were injured.

“Tragedy!” said Borys Filatov, the mayor of the rocket-making city on the Dnieper River.

“I went to the site. … We’re going to walk through the ruins all night.

Photos from the scene showed firefighters battling blazes around some car wrecks in Dnipro. A large chunk of the apartment building was missing, while the rest of the building’s exterior was badly damaged.

Trapped residents were using mobile phone flashlights to signal their location under the rubble, Ukrainian media reported.

Regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said seven children, the youngest three years old, were among the wounded.

“The fate of the 26 remains unknown,” he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was unclear how many people were under the rubble.

“Unfortunately, the death toll is increasing every hour,” he said in an evening address.

Besides Dnipro, other cities hit on Saturday included Odessa in the south, Kharkiv in the east, Lviv in the west and the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Civilian infrastructure, including power stations, was again damaged and power outages were reported.

Energy Minister German Galushchenko said an emergency blackout was imposed on “large parts” of Ukraine on Saturday because of the raid.

He warned that the days ahead would be “difficult”.

The Kharkov region was completely without power, and power and water supplies were likely to be disrupted in Lviv as well, officials said.

Since October, Russia has been targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with missiles and drones, causing a total blackout and disrupting central heating and running water.

Russia fired a total of 33 cruise missiles on Saturday, 21 of which were shot down, the top Russian military commander Valery Zaluzhny said.

british pledge tank

Moldova, Ukraine’s southwest neighbor, said it had found missile fragments on its territory following the latest Russian attack.

“Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine has once again directly affected Moldova,” President Mayasandu tweeted a photo of the wreckage.

“We strongly condemn today’s intensified attacks.”

In his evening speech, Zelensky called on the West to provide more weapons to prevent more deaths from what he called “Russian terrorism.”

“What does it take? The kind of weapons our partners stockpile and our fighters look to. The world knows what and how to stop those who sow death,” he said.

Saturday’s attack comes as Western powers consider sending heavy weapons to Kyiv, while Ukraine’s allies meet next Friday in Ramstein, Germany, when governments are due to announce their latest pledges of military support.

Britain on Saturday became the first western country to pledge heavy tanks for the war effort, with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying Britain would send 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Sunak’s office said the British prime minister believed “a prolonged static war is only in Russia’s interest”.

“UK defense and security officials believe a window has opened for Russia to be left behind due to resupply problems and low morale,” the statement said. “The prime minister therefore encourages allies to deploy the support they plan to provide in 2023 as soon as possible to have maximum impact .”

Saturday’s attack came as Ukrainian and Russian troops battled for control of Soledar, a salt mining town in eastern Ukraine that has been the focus of relentless Russian attacks for days.

Seizing Soledar, with a pre-war population of 10,000, could improve the position of Russian troops as they push toward what has been their main target since October, the nearby Bakhmut traffic intersection.

Russia said on Friday that its military had taken control of the town, a claim Ukraine denied.

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford reported from near Soledar that there were no clear signs of a Ukrainian withdrawal from the town.

“Russia says it has full control over Soledar, but the smoke rising from the impact site and the almost constant explosion of artillery and heavy machine gun fire suggest otherwise,” he said.

On the street leading to Soledar, Army medics waited at regular intervals to take the wounded to hospitals far from the front lines, Stratford said. Ukrainian armored personnel carriers were seen carrying troops towards the town, while the treelines were packed with artillery from defensive positions.

A soldier appeals for better weapons.

“It’s very difficult for us to push them back,” he told Al Jazeera. “We’re going to take a huge loss. They’re moving so much that sometimes our old guns overheat while we’re trying to shoot as many shots as possible.”

Turkey said on Saturday it was ready to push for a partial ceasefire in Ukraine, warning that neither Moscow nor Kyiv had the military means to “win the war”.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, conceded that it seemed unlikely that the warring parties would be ready to reach an “overarching peace agreement” in the coming months.

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