A toddler was killed and 22 people injured during an air strike on a residential area of Dnipro in central Ukraine. The two-year-old is the latest of an estimated 500 child victims of Russia’s indiscriminate attacks in 16 months of war.
Her body was pulled from the rubble of a house in the devastated community, officials confirmed yesterday. Regional governor Serhiy Lysak said five of the injured were kids, with three boys in a serious condition in hospital.
Accusing the Kremlin of deliberately targeting civilians, President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “At least 500 children have been killed by Russian weapons and hatred which continue to take and destroy the lives of Ukrainian children every day.
“We must hold out to win this war. All of Ukraine, all our people, all our children must be free from Russian terror.”
Kyiv believes Vladimir Putin’s campaign of drone and missile attacks on major cities is a bid to frustrate plans for a long-awaited counter-offensive.
However, Zelensky aide Dr Ihor Zhovkha said Ukraine still lacks enough weapons and ammunition to take back eastern regions occupied by Russia.
His words seem at odds with recent remarks from Mr Zelensky, however experts suggest the inconsistent comments may be a deliberate effort to keep Moscow guessing.
Elsewhere, shelling of the Donetsk region left three people dead. It comes after an inspection found nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s 4,800 air raid shelters are locked or unusable.
Days earlier a 33-year-old woman in Kyiv reportedly died while waiting outside a shuttered shelter during a Russian missile barrage.
Prosecutors in the capital said four people were detained as part of a criminal probe into the woman’s death as she and others waited to enter a locked shelter.
A security guard who allegedly failed to unlock the doors remained in custody. Three others were placed under house arrest.
In Russia, officials said two more people have been killed during fresh clashes in the border region of Belgorod.
It claimed 4,000 civilians have been moved to temporary accommodation after a spate of recent attacks.
Moscow blames Ukraine for the raids but Kyiv insists they were launched by the anti-Putin Freedom of Russia militia group.