Saturday, July 20, 2024

Ukraine war: 2-year-old girl killed and several injured in Dnipro after Russian attack

  • By James Fitzgerald & Adam Durbin
  • BBC News

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WATCH: Video shared by President Zelensky shows rescuers searching through the rubble

A two-year-old girl was killed and 22 others injured in a Russian airstrike on a residential area in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro.

His body was pulled overnight from the ruins of a house in the community of Pidorodnenska, the region’s governor said.

Serhiy Lysak said five of the injured were children, and three boys were in critical condition in hospital.

An earlier video shared by Ukraine’s president showed rescuers searching through the remains of a two-story building.

Volodymyr Zelensky blamed Russia for the attack, but the Kremlin has yet to comment on the events.

Explosions were also heard over the capital, Kiev, where air defense systems have been deployed again. Earlier, an air raid alert was issued across the country.

Mr Zelensky described the bombing in Dnipro as a deliberate Russian strike, although Russia has previously denied targeting civilians during its invasion of the neighboring country.

The regional governor said the fires followed what was said to be a strike in the city’s northern district, where 17 of those injured in the blast were taken to hospital.

Outbreaks have also been reported in other parts of the country. The head of the city’s military administration said air defense systems were involved in repelling airstrikes near Kiev early Sunday morning.

All missiles aimed at the city were shot down, Serhii Babko wrote on the Telegram news channel.

Officials in Sumy, in the north, reported 87 explosions as a result of Russian shelling, citing injuries and infrastructure destruction.

Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said on television that an operational airfield near the central city of Grobyvnytskyi had been hit by cruise missiles.

He said the air defense forces were able to shoot down only four of the six missiles, but did not give any details about the damage to the site.

A dozen explosions were also reported in the Russian-occupied southern cities of Berdyansk and Melitopol, although details were scarce.

In Russia, a market area in the town of Shebekino, four miles (7 km) from the Ukrainian border, was shelled Sunday morning, the governor of the Belgorod border region said.

Earlier Vyacheslav Klatkov said two people were killed in attacks near the city on Saturday. He urged residents of border towns and villages to evacuate their homes.

Local officials said the deaths were the result of Russia’s attempts to target anti-government militias in Moscow, but Ukraine blamed them.

Kyiv denied any direct link, again saying the attack was carried out by Russian paramilitaries.

In other developments, a close aide to President Zelensky said he was not ready to launch a long-promised counteroffensive against aggressive Russian forces.

His words appeared to contradict those of Mr Zelensky, who was quoted a day earlier as saying Ukraine was ready to launch a maneuver.

But the Sunday Times noted that the inconsistent comments by Ukrainian officials may be a deliberate attempt to confuse Moscow.

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