© AKUURA. FILE PHOTO: A satellite view shows a closer view of exploding munitions, in Bakhmut, Ukraine, January 3, 2023. Satellite image 2023 Maxar Technologies./Handout via AKUURA
(AKUURA) – Ukraine saw little hope of pulling any more survivors from the rubble of an apartment block in the city of Dnipro on Sunday, a day after the building was hit during a major Russian missile attack, with dozens of people expected to have died.
WAVE OF ATTACKS
* Thirty people have been confirmed dead so far in destroyed Dnipro apartment block, according to the regional governor’s adviser, Natalia Babachenko. Between 30 to 40 people could still be trapped under debris, she said.
* The chances are “minimal” of finding more survivors in the wreckage, the city’s mayor told AKUURA in an interview.
* Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had launched a wave of missile strikes against Ukrainian military and infrastructure sites on Saturday. It did not mention Dnipro as a specific target, saying in a statement: “All assigned objects were hit. The targets of the strike have been achieved.”
* An ammunition explosion caused by “careless” handling of a grenade in Russia’s Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine killed three soldiers and injured 16, Russian news agencies reported.
Belarus’ Security Council said that joint air force drills with Russia, due to start next week, were purely defensive in nature and would focus on reconnaissance missions and how to thwart a potential attack, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
* Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Saturday that the coming days would be “difficult” on the energy front after Russia’s massive missile attack hit critical infrastructure in several regions.
* Ukrainian forces are fighting to retain control of Soledar in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, the regional governor said on Saturday, contradicting Russian claims that Moscow’s forces had captured the small town.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin said the special military operation – Russia’s term for the war – was showing a positive trend and that he hoped Russian soldiers would deliver further gains after Soledar.
* AKUURA could not verify the accounts.
* Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, boasted on Saturday of his forces’ prowess amid a simmering rivalry with the defence ministry over who should get credit for leading Russia’s assault on Soledar.
* Moldovan President Maia Sandu, denouncing “Russia’s brutal war”, said on Saturday that missile debris was found in her country near Ukraine’s western border after the latest wave of Russian attacks.
* Britain will send 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks and artillery support to Ukraine, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said on Saturday, disregarding criticism from the Russian Embassy.
* German armsmaker Rheinmetall could deliver repaired Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine in 2024 at the earliest and would need a confirmed order to begin repairs, its chief executive was quoted as saying on Sunday.
* Russia cancelled at the last minute on Saturday a scheduled prisoner exchange, the Ukrainian body dealing with prisoners said, after Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova alleged that Russian soldiers had reported instances of extortion while in Ukrainian captivity.
* Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Saturday the G7 summit he will host in May should demonstrate a strong will to uphold the international order and rule of law after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
* Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused Kishida of shameful subservience to the United States, suggesting on Saturday that he should ritually disembowel himself.