Death toll in Russian strike on Ukrainian building rises to 40


The death toll from a weekend Russian missile attack on an apartment building. In the southeastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro rose. To 40, authorities said Monday, as Western analysts indicated the Kremlin was preparing for a drawn-out war in Ukraine after about 11. month of war

About 1,700 people lived in the multi-storey building. And search and rescue workers have worked non-stop. Since Saturday’s strike to locate victims and survivors in the rubble. The regional administration said 39 people have been rescued so far and 30 others are missing. At least 75 people were injured, authorities said.

According to The Associated Press-Frontline War Crimes Watch project. It was the deadliest single attack on civilians reported in Ukraine since earlier in the summer. Residents said the apartment tower has no military facilities.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, called the strike and others like. It an “inhuman aggression” because it directly targets civilians. “There will be no impunity for this crime,” he said in a tweet on Sunday.

Asked about the strike on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. The Russian military does not target residential buildings. And suggested the Dnipro building was hit as a result of Ukrainian air defense actions.

The attack on the building came amid a widespread. Barrage of Russian cruise missiles across Ukraine. Ukraine’s military said on Sunday it had no way to intercept the type of Russian missile that hit residential buildings in Dnipro.

Fierce fighting continued Monday in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk province. Where military analysts said both sides were likely suffering heavy troop losses. No independent verification of the development was possible.

Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk province comprise the Donbass. A sprawling industrial region bordering Russia that Russian President Vladimir Putin identified. As a focus from the start of the war. Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kiev’s forces there since 2014.

Russian and Belarusian air forces began a joint exercise on Monday in Belarus. Which borders Ukraine and served as a staging ground for Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. The exercise will continue until February 1, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said. Russia has sent its warplanes to Belarus for exercises.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank. Said the Kremlin was taking steps. To turn its invasion of Ukraine into “a major conventional war” after months of embarrassing military reversals.

What Moscow called “a special military operation” aimed. To capture the Ukrainian capital Kyiv within weeks and install a Kremlin-friendly regime there. But Russian forces eventually withdrew from the vicinity of Kiev, the think tank said. Then came a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive in recent months. Before winter set in, slowing military progress.

“The Kremlin is likely preparing to take a decisive strategic step within the next six months to regain. The initiative and end Ukraine’s current string of operational successes. The Institute for the Study of War said in a report late Sunday.

It noted in the report that the Russian military command. Was in “serious preparation” for. An increased mobilization effort, reserving mobilized personnel for future use. Boosting military industrial production and reshuffling its command structure.

That means Ukraine’s Western allies “must continue to support Ukraine in the long term,” the think tank said.

NATO member states have sought to reassure Ukraine in recent days that they must remain. The UK has pledged tanks and the US military’s new, expanded combat training of Ukrainian forces began in Germany on Sunday.

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