Dnipro residential block was likely struck by anti-ship missile, which is "notoriously inaccurate" when used against ground targets, says British Ministry of Defence as conflict enters its 328th day.

Strike in Dnipro was the war's deadliest attack on civilians at one location since the Mariupol strike in 2022 that reportedly killed more than 600.
Strike in Dnipro was the war's deadliest attack on civilians at one location since the Mariupol strike in 2022 that reportedly killed more than 600. (AP)

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The death toll from a weekend Russian missile strike on an apartment building in southeastern Ukraine has reached 45, officials said, as the body of another child was pulled from the wreckage.

Those killed in the weekend strike included five children, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president's office. About 79 other people were injured

The recent toll included two dozen people initially listed as missing at the multi-storey building, which housed about 1,700 residents, Tymoshenko said.

Emergency crews cleared some 9 metric tonnes of rubble during a non-stop search and rescue operation, the Dnipro City Council said.

The rescue and retrieval operation has since been suspended by authorities, according to reports.

Among the fatalities was Mykhaylo Korenovsky, a Ukrainian boxing coach, who died following the missile strike last week. Relatives mourn during his funeral in eastern Ukraine's Dnipro.
Among the fatalities was Mykhaylo Korenovsky, a Ukrainian boxing coach, who died following the missile strike last week. Relatives mourn during his funeral in eastern Ukraine's Dnipro. (AFP)

Following are the latest updates:

1741 GMT - Dutch PM signals 'intention' to send Patriots to Ukraine

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has signalled his "intention" during a meeting with President Joe Biden to deliver US-made Patriot air-defence missiles to Ukraine.

"We have the intention to join what you're doing with Germany on the Patriots project, the air-defense system. I think that is important and we joined that," Rutte told Biden in the White House.

Biden praised the Dutch contribution to a US-led Western alliance supporting Ukraine against Russian invasion and said, "Russia is continuing to act in ways that are almost unbelievable."

1643 GMT - Ukraine army chief, top US general meet for the first time

The head of Ukraine's armed forces Valery Zaluzhny has said he met Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, for the first time in person in Poland.

"I outlined the urgent needs of the armed forces of Ukraine," Zaluzhny said on Telegram after meeting one of the key figures of US military support for Kiev.

1510 GMT - UK to back Ukraine 'until victorious' 

The top UK diplomat has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that Britain will support Ukraine until they win the war, after Moscow was angered by London's decision to send tanks.

"The message we're sending to Putin — and, frankly, anyone else that cares to be watching — is that we made a commitment to support Ukrainians until they are victorious," Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on a visit to Washington.

"What Putin should understand is we are going to have the strategic endurance to stick with them until the job is done and the best thing that he can do to preserve the lives of his own troops is to recognise that," he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

1504 GMT - Ukraine calls off search operations at Dnipro

Ukraine has said rescuers called off searches at a residential building in the central city of Dnipro that was destroyed by a Russian missile over the weekend, killing dozens.

"At 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) on January 17, search and rescue operations in the city of Dnipro at the site of the rocket attack were completed," the state emergencies service said.

It said 20 people were still unaccounted for and that 44 people were killed.

1423 GMT - Ukraine first lady urges leaders to 'use influence'

Ukraine’s first lady has warned world leaders and corporate executives at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in the Swiss town of Davos that not all of them were using their influence against Russia's attacks.

As the anniversary of the war nears, Olena Zelenska said “we cannot allow a new Chernobyl to happen,” referring to the 1986 nuclear disaster as Russian missiles have pounded Ukrainian energy infrastructure for months.

“What you all have in common is that you are genuinely influential," Zelenska told attendees. “But there is something that separates you, namely that not all of you use this influence, or sometimes use it in a way that separates you even more."

READ MORE: World Economic Forum returns to Davos: Why is it important?

1412 GMT - NATO deploys surveillance planes to Romania, to monitor Russian activity

A NATO surveillance plane has arrived in Romania to bolster the military alliance's eastern flank and help monitor Russian military activity.

The plane, the first to be deployed, landed at an air base near Bucharest and two more are expected to land later in the day and on Wednesday. They are due to stay for several weeks.

"In the context of Russia's illegal war against Ukraine, NATO will monitor military activity on the eastern flank with the help of AWACS aircraft," Romanian Defence Minister Angel Tilvar said on Facebook.

1404 GMT Russian firms can ignore foreign shareholders: Kremlin

The Kremlin has handed permission to major Russian companies to dismiss votes of their shareholders from so-called "unfriendly" countries this year.

The decree, signed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, says the regulations apply to big firms in the energy, engineering and trade sectors with owners under international sanctions or even those with minority foreign shareholders.

The "temporary" measure will remain in place until the end of this year, and it will be up to the company whether or not to count the vote of its "unfriendly" shareholders.

1400 GMT Ukraine collects first tranche of EU eco package

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said his war-torn country received the first instalment of an $18-billion loan from the European Union to get through 2023.

"Ukraine received the 1st €3 billion from the new €18 billion macro-financial program," Zelenskyy said on Twitter, thanking the EU and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for their "strong support".

1126 GMT - Seven dead in Russia blast bordering Ukraine

An accidental grenade blast in a Russian region bordering Ukraine has led to at least seven deaths, the Interfax news agency reported.

"Four dead have been found among the missing. The number of victims has increased to seven people," the emergency services told Interfax. It added that the search for four more people was continuing.

Over the weekend a sergeant in the southern Belgorod region "unintentionally" detonated a hand grenade inside a dormitory at a location for military personnel, emergency services told Interfax.

The grenade triggered an ammunition blast and subsequent fire, killing three servicemen and injuring 16 others, including the perpetrator.

1056 GMT - Serbia asks Russia to end recruitment of its people for Ukraine war

Russia should halt its efforts to recruit Serbs to fight alongside its Wagner paramilitary group in Ukraine, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said.

Vucic criticised Russia's websites and social media groups for publishing advertisements in the Serbian language in which the Wagner group calls volunteers to join its ranks.

“Why do you, from Wagner, call anyone from Serbia when you know that it is against our regulations?” Vucic said late on Monday in a broadcast by the Belgrade-based Happy TV.

No one has a clear idea of exact numbers at any one time but dozens of Serbs have signed up to fight in Ukraine since 2014, observers say.

1005 GMT - Ukraine says over 9,000 civilians killed since war began

"We have registered 80,000 crimes committed by Russian invaders and over 9,000 civilians have been killed, including 453 children," Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff, said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.

"We will not forgive a single (act of) torture or life taken. Each criminal will be held accountable," he said, reiterating that Ukraine wants a special international tribunal to try Russian political leaders and reparations for the destruction caused by Russia's invasion.

The Office of the UN high commissioner for human rights said on Monday that more than 7,000 civilians had been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded.

0923 GMT - Ukraine says 25 still missing after Dnipro strike

Ukraine said 25 people were still missing after a Russian missile strike on a block of apartments that killed at least 41 people in the southeastern city of Dnipro.

Saturday's strike was one of the deadliest attacks since the war began nearly a year ago. 

"Twenty-five people are currently being sought," the state emergency services said.

Emergency services said municipal workers had removed more than 9,000 tonnes of construction debris and 41 damaged cars since the rescue operation began on Saturday.

0902 GMT - Zelenskyy adviser resigns over Dnipro comments

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych has tendered his resignation after a public outcry over comments he made suggesting the missile that hit an apartment block in Dnipro had been shot down by Ukraine. 

Arestovych announced his resignation on Facebook after publicly apologising and rowing back on his comments in a post on the Telegram messaging app. The Ukrainian Air Force says the apartment complex was hit by a Russian Kh-22 missile, which Kiev does not have the equipment to shoot down.

"I offer my sincere apologies to the victims and their relatives, the residents of Dnipro and everyone who was deeply hurt by my prematurely erroneous version of the reason for the Russian missile striking a residential building," he wrote.

0626 GMT - Russia likely hit Dnipro with inaccurate missile: UK

Referring to intelligence information, the British Ministry of Defence has said a large AS-4 KITCHEN anti-ship missile is "highly likely" what struck a block of flats in Dnipro over the weekend, killing 41 people including four children.

The ministry said KITCHEN is "notoriously inaccurate when used against ground targets".

"Russia falsely implied a Ukrainian air defence missile was responsible," the statement said.

The Kremlin had previously claimed its forces were not responsible and pointed to an unsubstantiated theory circulating on social media that Ukrainian air defence systems had caused the damage.

A rescue operation is still underway in Dnipro, with the UN condemning the attack as a "possible war crime".

0545 GMT - Wagner member seeks asylum in Norway

A Russian man who reportedly is a former high-ranking member of the Russian private military contractor Wagner Group has sought asylum in Norway.

Twenty-six-year-old Andrei Medvedev was arrested for illegally crossing the border to Norway near the Pasvikdalen valley last week.

Police, who did not confirm his identity, said in a statement to the AFP news agency that a man was "detained by Norwegian border guards and Norwegian police at 01:58 am (0058 GMT)" on Friday morning.

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) confirmed that Medvedev sought shelter in Norway but told the Associated Press that "for reasons of security and privacy, the UDI cannot comment further on this matter."

0520 GMT - Russia and Belarus flags banned at Australian Open after Ukraine protest

Tennis Australia has banned Russian and Belarusian flags at the Australian Open after Ukraine's ambassador demanded action when they were seen among the crowd.

The red, white and blue stripes of Russia were held up by fans Monday during a first-round clash between Ukraine's Kateryna Baindl and Russia's Kamilla Rakhimova on day one.

Ukrainian fans reportedly called security and police to the stands.

A Russian flag was also unfurled on Rod Laver Arena during Daniil Medvedev's clash with American Marcos Giron.

0516 GMT - Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visits Russian troops involved in Ukraine

"Sergei Shoigu thanked the servicemen who courageously perform tasks in the special military operation zone, and presented state awards to the servicemen for their dedication and heroism," the ministry said in a statement on its Telegram messaging app.

2333 GMT - Top US official meets Zelenskyy in Kiev

A senior US official has travelled to Kiev where she met Zelenskyy and assured him of Washington's "steadfast commitment" to Ukraine, the State Department said.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman led a delegation to the Ukrainian capital to discuss assistance to bolster Ukraine's security posture, improvements to its economy, and ways to develop an enduring bilateral trade partnership with the United States, it added.

The purpose of the visit is "to reaffirm the United States' strong and steadfast commitment to Ukraine and its defence against Russia's unprovoked aggression," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

2323 GMT - UN watchdog optimistic about Ukraine nuclear plant protection 

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said has hoped to make progress on a safe zone deal around the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant in Ukraine, but stressed it was a tough negotiation.

Russian forces in March captured the Soviet-era plant, Europe's largest, soon after their incursion into Ukraine. It has repeatedly come under fire in recent months, raising fears of a nuclear disaster.

"The situation around the plant continues to be very, very dangerous," Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters during a visit to Ukraine. "A nuclear accident, an accident with serious radiological consequences, is in nobody's interest."

READ MORE: Who is Valery Gerasimov, Russia's new top commander in Ukraine?

2317 GMT - Top US general visits training site for Ukrainian soldiers 

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley has visited Grafenwoehr's training area in Germany and met with Ukrainian troops. 

“This is one of those moments in time where if you want to make a difference, this is it," he said, adding the training will better prepare Ukrainian troops to launch an offensive or counter any surge in Russian attacks. 

More than 600 Ukrainian troops began the expanded training program at the camp just a day before Milley arrived. 

2046 GMT - Zelenskyy - Dnipro attack shows faster arms supplies needed 

The deadly attack on an apartment building in the central city of Dnipro shows the need for faster and better-coordinated decisions on supplying arms to Ukraine, Zelenskyy said.

"What happened in Dnipro, the fact that Russia is preparing new attempts to seize the initiative in the war, the fact that the nature of military action at the front requires new decisions on arms supplies - only underscores how important it is to coordinate all the efforts of the coalition defending Ukraine and freedom," he said in his nightly video address.

For live updates from Monday (January 16), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies