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Ukraine ends search for survivors in Dnipro, death toll hits 44

Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukraine called off search and rescue operations on Tuesday at the rubble of an apartment building in the eastern city of Dnipro where at least 44 people were killed in a Russian missile attack.

The State Emergency Service said 20 people were still unaccounted after Saturday’s attack and that the 44 confirmed dead included five children. Thirty-nine people had been rescued from the rubble and a total of 79 had been hurt, it said. 

Ukraine Dnipro apartment block

Emergency personnel work at the site where an apartment block was heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Dnipro, Ukraine, on 16th January, 2023. PICTURE: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File photo

“At 1:00 pm on January 17, search and rescue operations in the city of Dnipro at the site of the rocket attack were completed,” the emergency service wrote on the Telegram messaging app under a photograph from the scene.

The attack was the deadliest for civilians since the start a three-month Russian missile bombardment campaign. Regional authorities said on Tuesday the body of a child was among the last pulled out of the rubble. 

Ukraine Dnipro funeral

Mykhailo Korenovskyi’s, Ukrainian boxing coach and a father of two, killed during the Russian missile attack, coffin is carried on the day of his funeral, in Dnipro, Ukraine, on 17th January, 2023. PICTURE: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne


Family, friends and colleagues on Tuesday laid to rest a Ukrainian boxing coach killed in a Russian missile attack that tore the outer wall off the apartment where he had recently celebrated his daughter’s fourth birthday.

Hundreds of mourners attended the memorial service for Mykhailo Korenovskyi, one of at least 44 people killed in Saturday’s attack on Dnipro in east-central Ukraine.

A recent family video showed his daughter smiling and blowing out candles on her birthday cake while Korenovskyi stood behind her in the kitchen, holding another child in his arms.

The kitchen’s external wall has now gone, leaving the room exposed to the elements. Its modern yellow units are clearly visible from outside but chairs, a table, a bowl of fruit and household items such as a microwave remain undisturbed.

“He tried to pay attention to everyone, to all of his trainees. He trained boxers of a high level, but he never forgot about children,” Oleh Bilenko, a colleague, said at Korenovskyi’s memorial service.

“He really loved children who were just starting out in boxing, he encouraged them to get involved in boxing, to teach them. He always tried to fully commit himself. He was a very well-rounded person.”

Members of Korenovskyi’s family wept as friends offered their condolences and covered his coffin with flowers. Other family members were not at home when the apartment was struck.

Another colleague, Oleksandr Bohutskyi, said many of Korenovskyi’s boxers had been successful, both children and adults. 

“Our sports school, the city, the region and to be honest the whole country was proud of his athletic achievements, of his students’ achievements,” Bohutskyi said.

– Reuters


Ukraine says the apartment building was struck by a Russian Kh-22 missile. Russia, which invaded Ukraine last February, said its wave of missile strikes on Saturday did not target any residential buildings. 

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych tendered his resignation on Tuesday after causing a public outcry by suggesting a Russian missile that killed at least 44 people in the city of Dnipro had been shot down by Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave no immediate public response to Arestovych’s offer to resign.

Hours after the missile strike, Arestovych, who appears regularly on YouTube to provide updates on the war, initially said it appeared that the Russian missile had fallen on the building after being shot down by Ukrainian air defences. 

The comment, which deviated from the official Ukrainian account, caused widespread anger in Ukraine. It was also noticed by Russian authorities who appeared to allude to him when they blamed Kyiv for the strike. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian attacks “do not strike residential buildings” and suggested the strike was the result of Ukrainian air defences, a conclusion he said had also been reached by “some representatives of the Ukrainian side.”

Arestovych later rowed back on his comments, citing fatigue, but also said he had made clear that he had been voicing only a preliminary theory. 

On Tuesday morning, Arestovych posted a photograph of a letter tendering his resignation and acknowledged making a “fundamental error.” 

“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.

Ukraine says the Kh-22 missile is inaccurate and that it lacks the equipment to shoot it down. 

Dnipro, a city of almost one million people, serves as a supply hub for Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region. It has come under repeated bombardment from Russian missiles.

Meanwhile, a senior Ukrainian presidential aide said on Thursday that more than 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion last February,  said on Tuesday.

“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.



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