Ukraine says Russia unleashed a major missile attack, smashing a nine-storey apartment block in Dnipro city, killing at least 29 people and striking vital energy facilities, as fighting rages on its 326th day.

Ukraine's top military command said Russia launched three air strikes, 57 missile strikes and carried out 69 attacks from heavy weapon rocket salvo systems yesterday.
Ukraine's top military command said Russia launched three air strikes, 57 missile strikes and carried out 69 attacks from heavy weapon rocket salvo systems yesterday. (AFP)

Sunday, January 15, 2023

1953 GMT

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has condemned Russian people's "cowardly silence" following the missile strike on a tower block in the city of Dnipro.

"Your cowardly silence, your attempt to 'wait out' what is happening, will only end with the fact that one day these same terrorists will come for you," said Zelenskyy in his evening address.

1656 GMT

Ukraine puts Dnipro toll at 29 after wave of Russian strikes

The death toll from a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro has risen to at least 29 people, the regional governor reported as rescue workers scrambled to pull survivors from the rubble.

Russia fired 33 cruise missiles on Saturday, of which 21 were shot down, according to General Valerii Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces.

The missile that hit the apartment building was a Kh-22 launched from Russia's Kursk region, according to the military's air force command, adding that Ukraine does not have a system capable of intercepting that type of weapon.

The deaths reported in Dnipro were the most civilians killed in one place since a September 30 strike in Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region, according to The Associated Press-Frontline War Crimes Watch project. Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians.

1653 GMT

Joint air force drills with Russia are defensive only: Belarus

Belarus' Security Council has said that joint air force drills with Russia, due to start next week, were purely defensive in nature and would focus on reconnaissance missions and how to thwart a potential attack, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Minsk also said it was "ready" for any "provocative actions" by Ukraine, as a flurry of military activity in the country has triggered fresh fears in Kiev and the West that Russia could be preparing to use its ally to mount a new ground offensive on Ukraine.

1557 GMT

More heavy weapons for Ukraine in the near future: NATO

Ukraine can expect more deliveries of heavy weapons from Western countries soon, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said in an interview.

"The recent pledges for heavy warfare equipment are important — and I expect more in the near future," Stoltenberg told the Handelsblatt daily.

"We are in a decisive phase of the war," Stoltenberg said. "Therefore, it is important that we provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to win."

The comments come ahead of a meeting this week of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group, which coordinates arms supplies to Kiev.

1554 GMT

Ukraine sanctions 198 Russian cultural, media figures

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed a decree greenlighting sanctions on 198 Russian cultural and media figures.

The decree on the website of the Ukrainian Presidential Office says the sanctions by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) will be implemented for a period of 10 years.

“The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, together with the SBU and the National Bank of Ukraine, shall ensure the implementation and monitoring of the effectiveness of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions),” the decree said.

1242 GMT

Death toll from Russian strike on Dnipro apartment hits 23

At least 23 people have been killed and 73 others wounded after a Russian missile slammed into a tower block in the city of Dnipro during a massive wave of strikes causing power outages and blackouts across the war-torn country, Ukraine's regional council head Mykola Lukashuk said.

"The rescue operation is ongoing. The fate of more than 40 people remains unknown," Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region in central eastern Ukraine, wrote at 0525 GMT (7:25 am local time) on the Telegram messaging app.

According to Reznichenko, the attack had destroyed 72 apartments and damaged more than 230. 

The strikes also hit critical infrastructure in Kiev and other places, restricting power supply at the height of winter for the capital and large swaths of the country for the coming days, officials warned.

1100 GMT

Ammo explosion in Russia's Belgorod region kills three

At least three people have been killed and 13 injured in an ammunition explosion in Russia's Belgorod region, RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing local emergency services.

Authorities said earlier on Sunday that 10 Russian servicemen were injured in the blast in a cultural centre in the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine and is the location of several Russian military bases and training grounds.

The 112 and Baza Telegram channels, which are associated with Russia's law enforcement agencies, said the dead and injured were Russian conscripts who were called up to fight in Ukraine under Russia's mobilisation drive, announced last September.

They reported that the blast occurred after a soldier mishandled a grenade in a local cultural centre that had been converted to store ammunition.

Putin hails 'positive dynamic' in the Ukraine offensive

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed a "positive dynamic" in the Ukraine offensive after Moscow claimed victory over the frontline city of Soledar, which Kiev has denied.

"There is a positive dynamic, everything is developing according to plans," Putin said, answering a question from a journalist on the special operation and Soledar.

"I hope that our fighters will please us more than once again," he added.

0800 GMT

Leopard 2 tanks won't reach Ukraine this year: Germany

German armsmaker Rheinmetall could only deliver repaired Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine in 2024 at the earliest, its chief executive has said.

Repairing the tanks it has in stock would cost several hundred million euros and the company could not begin doing so before the order was confirmed, Armin Papperger, Rheinmetall's CEO, told Bild newspaper.

"Even if the decision is made tomorrow to allow us to send our Leopard tanks to Kiev, the delivery will take until early next year," Papperger said, adding that "the vehicles must be completely dismantled and rebuilt."

0015 GMT

UK says 'static war' only serves Russia's ends

Britain will send 14 Challenger 2 tanks and other heavy weaponry to Ukraine in the coming weeks and will train Ukrainian forces to use the tanks and guns in the coming days, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's office has said.

Kiev will also get around 30 self-propelled AS-90s guns, operated by five gunners.

"The Prime Minister is clear that a long and static war only serves Russia's ends," a government spokesperson said in a statement published on its website.

"That's why he and his ministers will be speaking to our allies across the world in the days and weeks ahead to ramp up pressure on (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and secure a better future for Ukraine."

Russia cancels new prisoner exchange round: Ukraine

Russia has cancelled at the last minute a scheduled exchange of prisoners of war, the Ukrainian body dealing with prisoners said.

"Another round of exchange of prisoners was planned today with the Russian side," the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War said on the Telegram messaging app. "However, it was cancelled at the last moment at the initiative of the Russian side."

The office of Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

2200 GMT

Russia could only be stopped on battlefield: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy has said Russian "terror" could only be stopped on the battlefield, after a residential building and energy infrastructure were hit in a new wave of attacks.

"Is it possible to stop the Russian terror? Yes, it is. Can it be done in any other way than on the battlefield in Ukraine? Unfortunately, no," Zelenskyy said in his new address, adding that his forces shot down more than 20 out of 30 Russian missiles.

"What is needed for this? Those weapons which are in the depots of our partners and which our soldiers are waiting for so much," Zelenskyy said, urging Western partners to supply necessary weapons.

Zelenskyy may visit UN next month

Zelenskyy wants to visit the United Nations to address a high-level meeting of the 193-member General Assembly on the eve of the first anniversary of Russia's February 24 invasion of his country if the security situation permits, a senior Foreign Ministry official has said.

Emine Dzhaparova cautioned in an interview with The Associated Press that many factors need to be in place for him to come, citing first and foremost the military situation on the ground and a warning from Ukraine's intelligence service that Russia is planning "a very serious offensive in February."

"Our president would want to come, he has a will or intention to come," she said, "but it's still a question if there will be a security situation that will allow him to come."

Moldova finds rocket debris on its land

Moldova has said it had found missile debris on its territory after a fresh wave of Russian strikes on neighbouring Ukraine and condemned the attacks.

"Russia's brutal war against Ukraine directly impacts Moldova again," President Maia Sandu tweeted, posting photos of the wreckage.

"Border police found rocket fragments near Larga village in northern Moldova. We strongly condemn today's intensified attacks."

For live updates from Friday (January 13), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies