Ukraine: Rescuers are still hoping to find survivors in the bombed-out building on the Dnipro
After the Orthodox New Year and a new general-scale Russian strike, the list of people killed at the Dnipro residence continued to grow on Sunday. Around 7pm, a report reported 30 dead and 75 injured, including a dozen seriously. Night fell, as before, emergency services continued to search for the rubble of the building which was split in two by the explosion. In his daily video updates on Telegram, Volodymyr Zelensky explains that “the fate of more than thirty people who were in the building (Dnipro, editor’s note) at the time of the missile launch remains unknown”, so far. “We fight for everyone! And the rescue operation will last as long as there is even the slightest chance of saving lives,” he added.
“In the afternoon, a 27-year-old woman was pulled out of the wreckage. He is in intensive care with severe hypothermia. Doctors are fighting to save him,” wrote Valentyn Reznichenko, Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, on Telegram. A makeshift kitchen was set up on the street, the Red Cross came to the rescue. Neighbors brought warm clothes. According to the Ukrainian presidency, between 100 and 200 people were left homeless after this strike, while the electricity in the city was cut.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced “Russian terror” on Saturday. For the United States, this is “a new example of the brutal and barbaric war that Russia is waging war against the Ukrainian people.”
To the south, on the Kryvyi Rig, one person was killed and another injured Saturday in the demolition of an apartment building following an attack, according to an official report. And on Sunday, Russian troops again bombarded Kherson, hitting Red Cross infrastructure and buildings and wounding seven people, including one seriously, according to regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevich.
Putin: “The dynamics are positive”
While his troops appear to be battling Western-backed Ukrainian troops, Vladimir Putin assured that “everything is going according to plan”, in an interview with Russian public television broadcast on Sunday. “The dynamics are positive and everything is going according to the plans of the Ministry of Defense and the general staff. I hope that our fighters will still delight us more than once with their military results”, he launched, after a question from a journalist from the Rossia-1 channel asking him about “news coming from Soledar”, which the Russian army claimed on Friday to conquered.
The capture of this small Ukrainian town was presented in Moscow as a success, after several months of Russian setbacks, notably the withdrawal in the Kharkiv region (northeast) and the large city of Kherson (south) against a Ukrainian counteroffensive. .
According to Moscow, the capture of Soledar was an important step toward besieging the nearby town of Bakhmout, which the Russian army and Wagner’s paramilitary group had been searching for for months. On Saturday, the governor of the Donetsk (eastern) region, Pavlo Kirilenko, assured that Soledar was still “under Ukrainian control” and that “fighting continues in and outside the city”.
NATO hopes to send more heavy weapons
But for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Vladimir Putin “overestimated the strength” of his troops by invading Ukraine. “We saw their missteps, their lack of morale, their commanding problems, their poor equipment”, as well as their “great losses”, he told German daily Handelsblatt.
“We are in a decisive phase of the war,” continued Jens Stoltenberg. “Also, it is important for us to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to win.” Britain announced on Saturday that it would deliver 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine “in the coming weeks”, thus becoming the first country to supply heavy tanks of Western construction to kyiv.
“The recent pledge of heavy weapons deliveries is very important – and I hope there will be more in the near future,” he added, days before another coordination meeting., on January 20, Western nations provided aid to Ukraine at an American base in Ramstein, Germany.
Western countries have long been reluctant to send heavier weaponry to Ukraine, for fear of getting involved in a war or provoking Russia. But earlier in the month, France, Germany and the United States finally pledged to send in armored infantry or scout tanks – 40 German Marders, 50 American Bradleys and French AMX-10 RCs. The Kremlin has decided that sending Western tanks will “prolong the suffering” of Ukraine.