June 4, 2023

Russian airstrike kills 2-yr-old girl, injures 22 in Ukraine

Russian airstrike kills 2-yr-old girl, injures 22 in Ukraine

Agency Report

A two-year-old girl has been killed and 22 injured after an alleged Russian air strike in a residential area of Ukraine’s central city Dnipro.

Her body was pulled from the rubble of a house in the Pidhorodnenska community overnight, the region’s governor said.

Serhiy Lysak said five of those injured were children, with three boys in a serious condition in hospital.

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

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

Explosions have also been heard over the capital, Kyiv, where air defence systems have again been deployed. The entire country had been placed under air raid alerts earlier.

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

Fires broke out following the alleged strike in a northern district of the city, according to the regional governor, who said 17 of those injured in the blast were taken to hospital.

Explosions were reported in other parts of the country. Air defence systems were engaged early Sunday in repelling air attacks near Kyiv, the head of the military administration of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv said.

All missiles targeting the city were shot down, Serhiy Popko wrote on the Telegram messaging channel.

Officials in Sumy, in the north, recorded 87 blasts as a result of Russian shelling, speaking of injuries and destruction of infrastructure.

More than a dozen explosions were also reported in the Russian-occupied southern cities of Berdyansk and Melitopol, though details were scant. Explosions have also been reported in the central city of Kropyvnitsky.

In Russia, officials said on Saturday that two more people had been killed in fresh attacks in the border region of Belgorod.

Local authorities said Ukraine was to blame, although Ukraine itself said the deaths were the result of Russia trying to target fighters who oppose the government in Moscow.

There has been a spate of attacks in the region in recent weeks, notably including a major cross-border incursion late last month which Moscow said ended in the deaths of 70 attackers.

Kyiv denied having any direct involvement, again saying the attack was mounted by Russian paramilitaries.

In other developments, a close aide of President Zelensky has said his country is not yet ready to begin its long-promised counter-offensive against occupying Russian soldiers.

Speaking to the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper, Dr Ihor Zhovkva blamed a lack of weaponry and ammunition.

His words appeared at odds with those of Mr Zelensky, who was quoted just a day earlier saying Ukraine was ready to start the manoeuvre.

But inconsistent comments from Ukrainian officials may be a deliberate effort to confuse Moscow, the Sunday Times noted.