A building hit by a rocket. Illustration
A building hit by a rocket. IllustrationISTOCK

20 people were killed and 73 were injured when a missile hit a residential building in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine yesterday (Saturday). Russia launched an extensive missile attack on most of Ukraine's provinces yesterday morning, and in the afternoon launched another barrage, in a move that could be seen as an act to escalate the war.

Dnipro is Ukraine’s largest Jewish city, and the Jews who live there have been very badly affected. In addition to their terrible fear of being killed by missiles, there is a severe power shortage and Jewish people are suffering in the pitch black and freezing cold.

Three strategic infrastructure facilities were damaged in Kharkiv and Lviv districts. Explosions also occurred in the Kiev and Odessa regions. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that all those involved in the terrorist attack will bear maximum responsibility, and government officials blamed Belarus and claimed that some of the missiles were launched from its territory.

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One of the Russian missiles hit critical civilian infrastructure in Kiev, according to Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko. He added that fragments of another Russian missile shot down by Ukraine's air defense fell on an uninhabited house in Kiev's Hulusievsky district. As a result, the explosion caused a fire that was extinguished within an hour. There were no casualties.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sonak promised yesterday to supply Ukraine with heavy, advanced battle tanks, which will help its forces ‘fend off the Russian forces’. In a phone conversation with President Zelensky, Sonak promised to deliver ‘Challenger 2’ tanks to Kiev to ‘increase our support in Ukraine’. Zelensky thanked Britain on Twitter for making decisions that, according to him, "will not only strengthen us on the battlefield, but also send the right message to other partners."

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This will be the first time that a country in the West will deliver heavy tanks to Kiev. Since the Russian invasion in February 2022, Kiev has received more than 300 upgraded Soviet tanks from its allies. Experts have estimated that supplying modern tanks would significantly increase Ukraine's chances of winning the war. Kiev asked for advanced tanks, but the West chose not to send.

About two weeks ago, France announced that it would supply Kiev with AMX-10 RC tanks. This week, Poland said it was ready to send 14 advanced German-made ‘Leopard 2’ tanks if other countries would do so. The United States and Germany announced that they would send Kiev ‘Bradley’ and ‘Merder’ APCs for the first time since the beginning of the war.

The Russian embassy in London predictably protested Sunak's announcement, saying the decision to send the tanks to Kiev would prolong the war and increase the number of casualties, including civilians. According to Moscow, the decision indicates ‘London's increasing involvement in the conflict’.

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