At least 35 Dead After Russian Missile Hits Ukraine Apartment Building

Ukrainian officials said Monday the death toll from a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in Dnipro had risen to 35, with rescue crews still searching the rubble for any survivors. 

Dnipropetrovsk regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said on social media that the attack had injured 75 people and that the fate of 35 others was unknown. 

The missile strike took place Saturday with what Ukraine’s air force command said was a Kh-22 missile launched from Russia’s Kursk region. Military officials said Ukrainian forces shot down 21 of 33 total missiles Russia fired that day, but that Ukraine does not have a system capable of intercepting the Kh-22. 

Russia’s defense ministry claimed responsibility for missile strikes across Ukraine but did not mention the attack on the Dnipro residential building. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Sunday that he was thankful for words of support from around the world after the attack, adding that it is “very important that normal people unite in response to terror.” 

He faulted those in Russia “who even now could not utter even a few words of condemnation.” 

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

Belarus-Russian drills  

Ukraine’s neighbor to the north, Belarus, began joint military exercises with Russia on Monday. 

The Belarusian defense ministry said the drills would run until February 1 and utilize all of the country’s military airfields. 

Areas of training include aerial reconnaissance, border patrols, tactical air assault landing and evacuation of the wounded, the ministry said. 

Belarus has participated in numerous military exercises with Russia since the conflict began, increasing fears in Ukraine and among its allies that Russia is hoping Belarus will enter the war on its side, despite assurances from Minsk it won’t join the fight.  

Pavel Muraveyko, first deputy state secretary of Belarusian Security Council, said in a post on the social media platform Telegram that “the exercise is purely defensive in nature.”    

Russia held military exercises in Belarus just before sending tens of thousands of those troops across the border into Ukraine at the start of its invasion in February. 

Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse, Reuters and The Associated Press. 

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