KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The death toll from a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in southeastern Ukraine rose to 41 on Tuesday after the body of a child was recovered from the rubble, officials said.
Another 25 residents of the construction city of Dnipro are considered missing, said the governor of the Dnipropetrovs’k region, Valentin Reznichenko, whose capital is Dnipro.
He said emergency crews had cleared about 90% of the debris during a 63-hour search after Saturday’s strike.
According to him, 79 are injured, 28 of them are hospitalized, 10 are in serious condition.
The latest deadly Russian strike on a civilian target in the nearly 11-month war has sparked outrage.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to bring the perpetrators to justice, saying that this is the “main task” of Ukraine and its Western allies.
“This strike on Dnipro, like other similar strikes, falls, in particular, under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” he said in a video message on Monday evening.
“And we will use all available opportunities – both national and international – to ensure that all Russian murderers, all those who give and carry out orders for missile terror against our people, are brought to justice. And that they serve the punishment,” he said.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that long-range missiles, the first of their kind in two weeks, had targeted Ukraine’s power grid over the weekend.
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 because its radar guidance system does not distinguish targets in urban areas.”
Similar rockets have been used in other incidents that resulted in large civilian casualties, including the attack on a shopping center in the center of Ukraine, the city of Kremenchug, last June.
Such incidents have helped bolster international support for Ukraine as it fights back against the Kremlin’s encroachment. Winter has brought a slowdown in fighting, but military analysts say a new push from both sides is likely once the weather improves.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and other US officials met with Zelensky on Monday in Kyiv, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said. They confirmed 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 the Ukrainian military training at a US-led military base in Germany.
More than 600 Ukrainian soldiers started an extended training program in the camp the day before.
“It’s not run of the mill,” Milley told the commanders. “It’s one of those moments where you want to make a difference, that’s all.”
Ukraine’s first lady was also helping to secure Western support and buy more foreign weapons as she was due to deliver a rare international address at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss city of Davos.
Meanwhile, the head of the UN nuclear agency visited the South Ukrainian NPP on Monday and announced the organization’s permanent presence to monitor work 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 plant.
“We are here to stay to help ensure nuclear safety (and) security during the ongoing conflict,” Grossi said, adding that “soon the IAEA will have a permanent presence” at all of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.
Ukraine has four nuclear power plants with 16 reactors. One of them, the Zaporizhzhya NPP, was captured by Russian troops in the first months of the war and remains under their control.
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