AEven two days after the devastating impact of a Russian missile on a residential building in the industrial city of Dnipro, the many civilian casualties remain the dominant issue in Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to punish the culprits and called for more weapons from the West, citing Britain’s pledge to supply tanks as a positive example. The Russian leadership denied any responsibility for the shelling of the apartment building.
Zelenskyy referred to Britain’s pledge of aid to Ukraine, which other countries should follow. “A new defense assistance package has been announced — just what is needed: main battle tanks, other armored vehicles and artillery,” he said in his daily video address Monday night. He is awaiting decisions on further arms deliveries from the World Economic Forum in Davos, which begins on Tuesday, and from the conference of the so-called Ukraine contact group of the country’s western allies, which meets on Friday in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate.
According to Zelensky, around 40 people died when a Russian missile hit the apartment building in Dnipro over the weekend. About two dozen are still missing. Ukraine will do everything possible to find the guilty and bring them to justice, Zelenskyy said. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned any attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in a statement as contrary to international law.
The Kremlin denied any responsibility for the momentous rocket hit and the many fatalities. “Russia’s armed forces are not attacking residential buildings or objects of social infrastructure,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. Representatives of the Ukrainian side said themselves that the “tragedy” at the weekend was caused by the Ukrainian air defenses. Peskov was obviously alluding to statements made by the adviser in the Ukrainian presidential office, Oleksiy Arestovych. He had named the launch of a Russian missile by anti-aircraft defense as a possible cause of the disaster.
Flowers for Dnipro victims in Moscow
Unknown people laid flowers at a memorial in Moscow after the devastating rocket hit. “In Moscow, people brought flowers and toys in memory of the dead of Dnipro,” the opposition Internet portal “Astra” reported on Monday. The monument in the center of the Russian capital commemorates the Ukrainian poet Lessja Ukrajinka. There was also a framed photo of the destroyed apartment building in Dnipro.