At least 23 people have died after a Russian missile strike destroyed an apartment block in Dnipro, central Ukraine.
The building was hit by a Russian Kh-22 missile, a Soviet-era anti-ship missile, which Ukraine has described as an “aircraft carrier killer.”
Confirming the death toll on Telegram, Mykola Lukashuk, head of the Dnipro regional council, said “Burn in hell, Russian murderers.”
At least 72 people were wounded and 43 people were reported missing, according to the city government, per The Independent.
“This missile with a 950 kg (2,000-pound) warhead, which is called an ‘aircraft carrier killer,’ is designed to destroy aircraft carrier groups at sea. It can be equipped with a nuclear element. And such a missile was used to hit a densely populated city. There is no explanation or justification for this terrorist act,” said Yuriy Ihnat, Spokesperson for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, per Ukrinform.
The Ukrainian military does not currently have the advanced weaponary needed to shoot down the long-range Kh-22 missiles, with Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, according to a Newsweek report.
He said: “Since the beginning of Russian military aggression on Ukraine, more than 210 missiles of this type have been launched. None of them are knocked down by air defense equipment.”
In his Facebook post, Oleshchuk said that only Western anti-aircraft missile systems, such as Patriot PAC-3s, are capable of taking down the supersonic Kh-22.
It has been reported that the US has agreed to supply a single Patriot battery to Ukraine. Upto 100 Ukrainian soldiers are due to undergo training on the missile systems at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, starting next week, reported the BBC.
The attack on the apartment block comes in a new surge of Russian violence over the last week, which has targeted civilians and energy infrastructure.
The Russian strikes have hit critical infrastructure across the country, with Ukraine’s energy minister warning of “difficult” days ahead with damaged electricity, running water, and heating supplies, per Reuters.
Much of the fighting over the past few days has been focused in Soledar, where Russian troops have claimed they’ve captured the town.