Ukraine war latest: 30 killed in missile strike on Dnipro, UK pledges tanks in new military aid package

Key developments on Jan. 14-15:

The death toll of the Jan. 14 Russian cruise missile strike on an apartment building in Dnipro has risen to 30, with 75 reported injured so far including 13 children, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said on Jan. 15.

First responders continued to work around the clock over Jan. 15 to rescue residents trapped under the rubble of the nine-story apartment building, in which 72 apartments were completely destroyed.

According to Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Valentyn Reznichenko, more than 40 people were being treated in local hospitals in Dnipro following the attack.

Reportedly launched from a Russian Tu-22 strategic bomber above Kursk Oblast in western Russia, the missile used was a Kh-22, a crude, 12-meter-long cruise missile designed in the Soviet Union in the 1960s initially as an anti-ship weapon.

The same missile was used by Russia to strike a shopping center in Kremenchuk on June 27 last year, in an attack that killed 20 people.

Late on Jan 14, the Ukrainian Air Force said that Ukraine currently has no air defense system capable of shooting down Kh-22 missiles, of which 210 have been launched at Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Only anti-aircraft missile systems, which in the future may be provided to Ukraine by Western partners (referring to Patriot PAC-3 or SAMP-T missiles), are capable of intercepting these targets,” said Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of Ukraine’s air force.

Both the U.S. and Germany have each pledged a battery of the advanced Patriot air defense system, though training and delivery of them is expected to take at least several months.

Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat later added that any earlier reports of Kh-22 missiles having been shot down by Ukraine were false.

The strike on Dnipro was part of Russia’s 10th mass missile attack on Ukraine since Oct. 10 last year, which again targeted energy infrastructure across the country.

According to Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko, energy infrastructure was hit in six Ukrainian oblasts across Ukraine in the afternoon of Jan. 14.

Dnipro mayor Borys Filatov said on Jan. 14 that it was possible that the strike on the apartment building in Dnipro may have intended to hit a power station 2.5 kilometers away, Radio Svoboda reported. The out-of-date Kh-22 missile is understood to be significantly less accurate than its more modern counterparts in Russia’s arsenal.

Ukrainian air defense forces shot down 25 out of 38 missiles, including air-launched Kh-101, Kh-555, and Kh-59 models, as well as sea-launched Kalibr missiles.

Explosions were reported in at least 10 Ukrainian regions across the country, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, Ternopil, Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, and Odesa oblasts.