Body of child removed from Dnipro building, 41 dead in strike

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KYIV, Ukraine (TBEN) — 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 pulled from the rubble, officials said.

Another 25 residents of the construction city of Dnipro are still missing, said Valentyn Reznichenko, the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, of which Dnipro is the capital.

Emergency services have cleared about 90% of the debris in a 63-hour search since Saturday’s strike, he said.

There are 79 injured, he said, 28 of whom are hospitalized and 10 in serious condition.

The last deadly Russian attack on a civilian target in the nearly 11-month war has sparked outrage.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to bring those responsible to justice, saying it is “a fundamental task” for Ukraine and its Western allies.

“This strike at Dnipro, as well as other similar strikes, falls specifically under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” he said in a video address late Monday.

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“And we will use all available opportunities – nationally and internationally – to ensure that all Russian killers, anyone who orders and executes missile terror against our people, receives legal punishment. And to make sure they serve their sentences,” he said.

Britain’s defense ministry said on Tuesday that the weekend’s barrage of long-range missiles, the first of its kind in two weeks, targeted Ukraine’s power grid.

But the ministry identified the missile that struck Dnipro’s apartment building as an anti-ship missile that is “notoriously inaccurate when used against ground targets, as the radar guidance system is poor at distinguishing targets in urban areas.”

Similar missiles were used in other incidents that left many civilian casualties, it said, including an attack on a shopping center in the central city of Kremenchuk in June last year.

Such incidents have helped consolidate international support for Ukraine in its struggle to fend off the Kremlin invasion. The winter has led to a slowdown in fighting, but military analysts say another attack by both sides is likely once the weather improves.

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US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and other US officials met with Zelenskyy in Kiev on Monday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said. They reiterated Washington’s “strong and steadfast commitment to Ukraine,” he said.

US Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Ukrainian troops training at a military base in Germany under US commanders on Monday.

More than 600 Ukrainian troops began the extensive training program at the camp the previous day.

“This is no ordinary rotation,” Milley told the commanders. “This is one of those moments in time when if you want to make a difference, this is it.”

Ukraine’s first lady also helped bolster Western support and acquire more foreign weapons as she was scheduled to deliver a rare international speech at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss city of Davos.

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Meanwhile, the head of the UN nuclear agency visited the southern Ukraine nuclear power plant on Monday and announced that the organization has a 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 stay to help ensure nuclear safety (and) security during ongoing conflicts,” said Grossi, adding that “soon the IAEA will have a permanent presence” at all of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.

Ukraine has a total of four nuclear power plants with 16 reactors. One of them, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, was taken over by Russian forces in the first months of the war and remains under their control.

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