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Russia-Ukraine war live: rescuers work through night after deadly Russian missile attack on Dnipro apartment block


Dnipro tower block death toll rises to 20 – reports

The death toll from a Russian missile strike on a tower block in Dnipro has risen to 20, AFP reports.

The attack on the apartment block in the south-central Ukrainian city destroyed dozens of flats, leaving between 100 and 200 people homeless.

Earlier, reports placed the death toll at at least 14. On Sunday, the Dnipropetrovsk governor Valentyn Reznichenko said on the messaging app Telegram that at least 20 had died and the fate of 40 people remains unknown.

#BREAKING Toll from strike on tower block in Dnipro rises to 20: Ukrainian official

— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 15, 2023

Key events

Rescuers dig through rubble of apartment building in Ukraine hit by missile attack – video

German battle tanks for Ukraine ‘won’t be ready until 2024’

Philip Oltermann

Philip Oltermann

Battle tanks from German industrial reserves wanted by Ukraine will not be ready to be delivered until 2024, my colleague Philip Oltermann reports.

The warning from arms manufacturer Rheinmetall will dampen Kyiv’s hopes that the UK’s promise to deliver Challenger 2 tanks would encourage other European nations to swiftly follow suit.

“Even if the decision to send our Leopard tanks to Kyiv came tomorrow, the delivery would take until the start of next year,” Rheinmetall’s chief executive, Armin Papperger, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Rheinmetall, which manufactures the battle vehicle’s gun, has 22 Leopard 2 and 88 older Leopard 1 tanks in its stocks. Getting the Leopard tanks ready for battle, however, would take several months and cost hundreds of millions of euros the company could not put up until the order was confirmed, Papperger said.

“The vehicles must be completely dismantled and rebuilt,” he added.

Images of survivors being pulled from the rubble of the apartment block in Dnipro that was destroyed yesterday are emerging. There are thought to still be around 40 people unaccounted for.

After working through the night, rescuers have pulled a woman from the rubble of the Dnipro apartment block that Russia destroyed with a missile.

21 people so far known to have died, including a child. But around 40 are still missing so the death toll will probably rise pic.twitter.com/lSAgj6kHPx

— Jack Losh (@jacklosh) January 15, 2023

James Cleverly
James Cleverly

The UK foreign secretary, James Cleverly, has said “now is the time to accelerate and go further and faster” in giving Ukraine the support it needs in a column for the British tabloid, The Sun on Sunday.

Cleverly writes that the Russian army is on the defensive and morale among troops is pitiful, pinning it on the “shambolic state of Russian military logistics”.

Cleverly points out that not a single one of the Russian operational commanders in place when the invasion began on 24 February last year is still in his job today.

“So this is exactly the right moment for Ukraine to seize the advantage,” he writes.

That’s why Britain has decided to speed up and increase our military support. We are going to supply Ukraine with up to 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks – one of the most formidable fighting machines in the world, battle-proven in the Gulf.

Cleverly says the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, will confirm the details in the UK parliament tomorrow.

He writes that he “cannot remember a time when Nato was more united, or Russia more isolated”.

From doctors to cocktail bar staff, in this article by Guardian journalists Emma Graham-Harrison and Artem Mazhulin, the people of the Ukrainian capital speak of their everyday acts of resistance and determination to do much more than simply survive.

A strike on a residential building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro on January 14, 2023 killed at least 20 people.
A strike on a residential building in Dnipro on 14 January killed at least 20 people. Photograph: Vitalii Matokha/AFP/Getty Images

Images of the rescue efforts at the destroyed block of flats in Dnipro are filtering through.

Rescuers works on a residential building destroyed after a missile strike, in Dnipro.
Rescuers work on a residential building destroyed after a missile strike in Dnipro. Photograph: Vitalii Matokha/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters conduct search and rescue operation in the rubbles of destroyed residential building in Dnipro
Firefighters conduct search and rescue operation in the rubbles of destroyed residential building in Dnipro. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Our correspondent in Ukraine, Isobel Koshiw, has been monitoring the rescue mission at the destroyed block of flats in Dnipro, in which at least 20 people have died.

Rescue workers searching through the rubble last night in Dnipro, where an a section of a 9-story apartment block was completely destroyed by a rocket – via Kyrylo Tymoshenko. So far: 20 dead, 73 injured, 37 missing and 400~ people lost their homes pic.twitter.com/SISjBm9RPa

— Isobel Koshiw (@IKoshiw) January 15, 2023

Dnipro tower block death toll rises to 20 – reports

The death toll from a Russian missile strike on a tower block in Dnipro has risen to 20, AFP reports.

The attack on the apartment block in the south-central Ukrainian city destroyed dozens of flats, leaving between 100 and 200 people homeless.

Earlier, reports placed the death toll at at least 14. On Sunday, the Dnipropetrovsk governor Valentyn Reznichenko said on the messaging app Telegram that at least 20 had died and the fate of 40 people remains unknown.

#BREAKING Toll from strike on tower block in Dnipro rises to 20: Ukrainian official

— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 15, 2023

The latest UK Ministry of Defence intelligence update examines reports that the Russians are planning to raise the upper limit for conscription from 27 to 30.

The MoD says there is a realistic possibility that Russian leaders hope the change will be “less alarming” than announcing another round of the unpopular “partial mobilisation” process, which Putin did in September.

The MoD says:

On 12 January 2023, Andrey Kartapolov, the head of the Russian State Duma Defence Committee, suggested Russia would extend the upper age of routine military conscription from 27 to 30 in time for the Spring 2023 draft.

Kartapolov said the move would be intended to enable the previously announced 30% increase in the size of Russia’s forces.

Last year, President Putin said he supported such a move, and Russian officials are likely sounding out public reactions.

There is a realistic possibility that Russian leaders hope a change of age criteria for routine conscription could bolster personnel available to fight in Ukraine while appear less alarming to the population than announcing another round of the unpopular ‘partial mobilisation’ process.

Uncertainty remains over the fate of Soledar, a saltmining outpost that Russia claims to have captured, against denials from Kyiv.

Both sides have conceded heavy losses in the battle for the town in eastern Ukraine.

Agence France-Presse reported that Ukraine’s military governor in the embattled eastern region of Donetsk insisted on Saturday that “Soledar is controlled by Ukrainian authorities, our military controls it”.

The “battles continue in and outside of the city”, he added.

He was responding to claims by Russia’s defence ministry on Friday that it had “completed the liberation” of Soledar the previous day.

The industrial town with a pre-war population of about 10,000 has been reduced to rubble from intense fighting.

Capturing Soledar could improve the position of Russian forces as they push towards what has been their main target since October – the nearby transport crossroads of Bakhmut.

Ukrainian soldiers equip trenches on a field near Soledar on Saturday
Ukrainian soldiers equip trenches on a field near Soledar on Saturday. Photograph: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images

Russia cancels prisoner swap at last minute, says Ukraine

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

The Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War said on Telegram:

Another round of exchange of prisoners was planned today with the Russian side. However, it was cancelled at the last moment at the initiative of the Russian side.

Reuters also reported that the office of the Russian human rights commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Russia and Ukraine have conducted numerous prisoner swaps – most recently on 8 January – amounting to hundreds of captives each in the course of the war.

On Saturday, Moskalkova posted on Telegram that Russian soldiers had allegedly reported instances of extortion while in Ukrainian captivity.

Ukrainian troops in a bus after being released in a 8 January prisoner swap with Russia
Ukrainian troops in a bus after being released in a 8 January prisoner swap with Russia. Photograph: Andriy Yermak/Telegram/Reuters

Ukrainian energy facilities operator Ukrenergo said it was working on “eliminating the consequences” of the latest Russian strikes.

Agence France-Presse reported that in Kyiv, its journalists heard several explosions, while Ukrainian officials reported strikes on a power facility.

The Kyiv city administration said:

There is a hit to an infrastructure facility, without critical destruction or fire.

In the north-eastern Kharkiv region, “the enemy launched another missile attack on critical infrastructure and industrial facilities”, said the governor, Oleg Synegubov.

Emergency blackouts were applied in “most regions” of Ukraine due to the fresh barrage of attacks, the energy minister, German Galushchenko, said on Saturday.

Attacks were also reported in the southern Zaporizhzhia region in south-eastern Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Ukraine had shot down 20 of the more than 30 Russian missiles fired.

“Unfortunately, energy infrastructure facilities have been also hit,” with the Kharkiv and Kyiv regions suffering the most, he said.

Workers remove rubble in Zaporizhzhia on Thursday after a Russian rocket attack that left 39 houses damaged
Workers remove rubble in Zaporizhzhia on Thursday after a Russian rocket attack that left 39 houses damaged. Photograph: Dmytro Smolienko/Ukrinform/NurPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock

Ukrainian rescuers in Dnipro were also working through the night to free a woman trapped under the rubble of a destroyed house after hearing her voice, the state emergency service said.

A Russian missile strike on an apartment block in the south-central Ukrainian city destroyed dozens of flats, leaving between 100 and 200 people homeless, said the Ukrainian presidency’s deputy head, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Agence France Presse reported.

About 1,700 were without electricity and heating, he said.

At least 14 people were killed in Russia’s attack on Dnipro on Saturday, Ukrainian authorities said.

Welcome and summary

Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s continuing live coverage of the war in Ukraine. It’s day 326 – this is Adam Fulton.

In our top story at it approaches 9am in Kyiv, at least 14 people were killed and 64 injured at an apartment block hit during a wave of Russian missile attacks across Ukraine on Saturday as it celebrated the Old New Year holiday. Rescue efforts at the devastated block in the south-central city of Dnipro continued overnight after the strikes – Russia’s biggest wave in a fortnight – which Ukrainian officials said had targeted the country’s energy infrastructure.

The Dnipropetrovsk region’s governor, Valentyn Reznichenko, was reported as saying on Telegram early on Sunday that about 38 people had been rescued, two dozen were missing and an unknown number remained trapped in the debris.

In other recent developments:

  • 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 the 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.

A dark street in Lviv amid a blackout after missile attacks on power infrastructure
A street in Lviv amid a blackout after missile attacks on power infrastructure. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • 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





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