A Russian missile hit an apartment building in Dnipro, Ukraine, killing 5 people

  • Five people were killed in the nine-story block – Kyiv authorities
  • At least 60 people were injured when part of the building collapsed
  • Russian missiles again hit energy facilities across the country
  • Zelensky has called for more weapons to fight Russia

KYIV, Jan. 14 (Reuters) – Russia launched a major missile attack on Ukraine on Saturday, smashing into a nine-story apartment building in the city of Dnipro, killing at least five people and hitting key energy facilities, officials said.

Ukraine’s energy minister said the coming days were “difficult” as months of Russian bombing threatened power, running water and central heating supplies at the height of winter.

In the east-central city of Dnipro, 20 people were rescued from an apartment building where part of the building collapsed, sending smoke into the sky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office said.

“Sad. I’ve gone to the base…. We’ll be going through the rubble all night,” said Boris Filatov, mayor of the rocket-making town on the Dnipro River.

The regional governor said five people were killed and at least 60 others, including 12 children, were injured in the attack, with many more trapped under the rubble.

One person was killed and another was injured in the steel-making city of Kryvyi Rih, where six houses were damaged in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said.

In his nightly speech, Zelensky appealed to the West to provide more weapons to prevent further casualties from what he described as “Russian terrorism”.

“What does it take? The weapons our partners stockpile and our soldiers expect. The whole world knows what and how to stop the sowers of death,” he said.

Saturday’s attack comes as Western powers announce the deployment of battle tanks to Kiev and the latest pledges of military support by governments ahead of a meeting of Ukraine’s allies in Ramstein, Germany next Friday.

On the front line in the east, Ukraine said its forces were fighting to take control of the small town of Soledar, where Russia has sacrificed a lot of troops and resources to make some progress after months of setbacks.

In Dnipro, pictures show firefighters putting out flames around the wreckage of some cars. A large part of the apartment is missing. The exterior of the rest of the building was heavily damaged. The injured were carried away on stretchers.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine last February, has been attacking its energy infrastructure with missiles and drones since October, causing major blackouts and disruptions to central heating and running water. Ukraine shot down 25 of 38 Russian missiles of various types, the air force said.

Missiles hit critical infrastructure facilities in the eastern part of Kharkiv and western part of Lviv, officials said. Officials said the Kharkiv region was completely without power and there could be disruptions to power and water supplies in Lviv.

Moldova’s interior ministry said missile debris had been found in the north of the country near the border with Ukraine following an airstrike.

Morning Attack

Saturday’s attack came hours after a small-scale missile strike hit critical infrastructure in Kiev and the eastern city of Kharkiv.

The first attack was unusual because the missiles hit their targets before the air raid sirens sounded. No one was reported injured, but missile debris caused fires in an area and damaged homes outside the capital, officials said.

DTEK, the largest private power company, introduced emergency blackouts in many areas.

Residential infrastructure was also affected in the village of Kopiliv outside the capital. The windows and roofs of 18 privately owned houses were broken or damaged by the blasts, regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba said.

Commenting on the first attack, Air Force spokesman Yuri Ihnat said Russia’s missiles may have been launched from the north on a high, rotating ballistic trajectory, which would explain why the air raid sirens did not sound.

Ukraine was unable to identify and shoot down the ballistic missiles, Ukrainska told Pravda online outlet.

Missiles hit Kargi

In Ukraine’s northeast, two S-300 missiles hit the city of Kharkiv near the Russian border early Saturday, regional governor Oleg Sinehupov said.

The attacks hit important energy and industrial targets in the region’s Kharkiv and Suhuvev districts, he said.

Saturday’s strikes came as Ukrainian and Russian forces battled for control of Solader, a small salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine that has been the focus of a relentless Russian offensive for days.

Ukraine insists its forces are fighting to control Soledor, but admits the situation is difficult, street fighting is fierce and Russian forces are advancing from different directions.

Russia said on Friday that its forces had taken control of the city with a pre-war population of 10,000, a small improvement but of psychological significance for Russian forces that have suffered months of battlefield setbacks.

Reuters could not immediately verify Soledar’s condition.

Editing by Tom Balmforth Writing by Angus MacSwan, Mark Heinrich, Tomasz Janowski and Francis Kerry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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