Russian missile attacks in Dnipro kill at least 12; UK pledges to send Ukraine tanks to ‘push Russian troops back’; power outages across Ukraine
Russia carried out two mass rocket attacks on Ukraine on Saturday, devastating an apartment block in Dnipro and leaving at least 12 people dead and many more injured, at least a dozen of them children. Rescue efforts were ongoing in the south-central city on Sunday. At least one person was also killed in a separate strike on a residential area in the nearby city of Kryvyi Rih. Ukrainian authorities said the targets were the country’s energy infrastructure.
The UK prime minister has confirmed the country will provide tanks to Ukraine to help Kyiv’s forces “push Russian troops back”. Downing Street said Rishi Sunak made the pledge during a call on Saturday morning with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and that Sunak offered Challenger 2 tanks and additional artillery systems as a sign of the UK’s “ambition to intensify our support to Ukraine”. Russia’s embassy in Britain said the move would only “intensify” the conflict.
Emergency power outages were enacted across 11 regions of Ukraine after Russian strikes on energy infrastructure. In a post on Telegram, grid operator Ukrenegro said the consumption limits in force across the country were exceeded in 11 regions, as a result of which “emergency shutdowns have been applied”.
Four explosions were heard in central Kyiv on Saturday morning. For the first time since Russia began regular missile and drone attacks on the capital in autumn, the air raid sirens sounded after the attack. Until now, the sirens have sounded 10-90 minutes before an attack, giving residents time to seek shelter.
Air raid alerts were also issued across the country, including in the major cities of Kherson and Lviv. Alerts were also issued for the regions of Kharkiv, Donestk, Dnipropetrovsk and about a dozen others.
Ukraine has called on its allies to give it more support after its troops suffered heavy losses in fighting at Soledar and Bakhmut in recent months. Russia said on Friday its forces had taken control of Soledar in east Ukraine, its first claim of victory in months of battlefield setbacks, while Kyiv said fierce fighting was continuing in the town. “To win this war, we need more military equipment, heavy equipment,” said Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Agence France-Presse reported.
Moldovan authorities said debris from a missile had been found in its territory near the border with Ukraine. They said on Saturday the find came “after Russia’s massive bombardment of Ukraine” and that it was the third time missiles from the conflict had fallen on to Moldova’s territory.
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has accused the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, of shameful subservience to the US and suggested he should ritually disembowel himself. His remarks on Saturday were the latest in a long line of shocking and provocative statements from arch-hawk Medvedev, Reuters reported. Speaking later on Saturday, a day after a summit with the US president, Joe Biden, Kishida made no mention of Medvedev’s comment