Tearful Ukrainians mourn victims of Dnipro attack
By Herbert Villaraga
DNIPRO, Reuters (Reuters) - Tearful neighbours and local residents left flowers and cuddly toys on Monday at a makeshift memorial near an apartment block in the city of Dnipro where Ukrainian officials say at least 40 people were killed in a Russian missile strike.
A soldier staggered away, wiping away tears, after laying flowers on the seat of a transport shelter turned into a temporary monument to the victims of Saturday's attack.
A candle burned beside the growing pile of toys and bouquets.
Other people fought back tears as they stood behind the makeshift memorial, staring up at the ruined apartment bloc where emergency workers cleared away rubble.
"We came here to look, pay our respects. It is very tough, such a shame about lives lost," said 63-year-old Viktoria.
"I want to say 'Rest in Peace' to all those who died and 'Keep strong' to all those who survived. It is very sad, such a shame about lives lost. Any of us could have been there."
Another local resident, 28-year-old Polina, came to lay flowers with her boyfriend and show solidarity.
"My friend lives in this neighbourhood. She is in shock after what happened. She does not live in that apartment building, but in the neighbourhood. She was at home and heard an explosion. She sent me a video," she said.
"We all live in buildings like this one and any of us imagined what if it happened to them? It's awful."
Another local resident, 73-year-old Lidia, said her son-in-law had offered to help clear the rubble when he came to the scene of the blast on Saturday but was not allowed to.
"He was told they had enough people. They spent some time and then left," she said.
Dozens of people were still missing on Monday after what was the deadliest single incident since Moscow began a campaign of firing missiles at cities far from front lines of its war in Ukraine. Russia denies intentionally targeting civilians.
(Writing by Timothy Heritage, Editing by Hugh Lawson)