The authorities also reported 22 injuries early Sunday morning, including five children. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in Kiev on Saturday evening: “Russia has shown again that it is a terrorist state.”
The head of state released a video showing a completely destroyed two-story building. Rescuers were still looking for survivors. According to authorities on Sunday, ten private houses, a car, a shop and gas pipelines were also damaged in the area.
Russian rocket and drone attacks in Ukraine repeatedly hit civilian infrastructure. According to Zelenskyj, a bullet fell between two two-story apartment buildings. There had previously been an air alert in the region. It was unclear exactly what had hit there. Dnipro is located in southeastern Ukraine.
Zelenskyj: “Russians will bear responsibility”
“The Russians will take responsibility for everything they did to our state and the people,” said Zelenskyy. In his evening video message, he thanked rescue workers, fighters and everyone who made their contribution in the fight against the Russian invasion that has been going on for more than 15 months. Zelenskyy called on people to personally thank the soldiers and everyone who fought for the existence of Ukraine.
In an interview, Zelenskyy said he saw the country ready for the long-awaited counter-offensive to liberate its territories from Russian occupation. “I think we’re ready for that today,” he told the Wall Street Journal. The US newspaper also published the interview as a video on its website on Saturday. Zelenskyi stressed that Ukraine would have liked to have some more weapons for the offensive against the Russian invasion, but could not wait more months for their delivery.
“We believe very much in success, I don’t know how long it takes us,” he said. At the same time, he pointed out that it could take time and that the price of success would be high. There has been speculation for months about the start of the offensive, and at times it was said in Kiev that the operation was already underway.
At the same time, Zelenskyy again called for significantly more US Patriot air defense systems, in the interview he mentioned the number 50. The Patriot missiles offer the best protection against Russia’s terror. “Today, Patriot is the only weapon capable of stopping some of the types of missiles that the Russian Federation is using against our civilian population, schools, infrastructure and energy systems,” he told WSJ. “50 Patriot batteries – and the majority of people don’t die.” According to US television broadcaster CNN, Ukraine is currently using two Patriot systems.
More missiles and drones than ever before
In its war of aggression, Russia had fired more missiles and drones at Ukraine and especially Kiev in the past few days than at any time since the invasion began. The Ukrainian air defense repeatedly reported that all or almost all of these flying objects had been shot down thanks to the western defense systems. Nevertheless, there were dead and injured. Debris from missiles and drones that have been launched also leave behind massive damage to buildings, cars and roads.
Zelenskyy also published a video of a conversation with journalists from Latin America on Saturday, in which he again emphasized that negotiations to end the war are not possible with the current Russian leadership. The only chance for Russia is to withdraw its troops from Ukraine, he said. The 45-year-old reiterated that he would otherwise fight until Ukraine wins the war and Russia is defeated. If Russia were defeated, there would be a revolution there, he said.
According to official information, an airfield was hit during new Russian attacks in central Ukraine. A total of six cruise missiles were fired at his country on Sunday night, said the spokesman for the Ukrainian air force, Juryj Ignat. “Out of six cruise missiles, four were destroyed by anti-aircraft defenses and unfortunately two hit an airfield near Kropyvnytskyi.” Nothing was initially known about the extent of the damage.
Russia also fired five combat drones at the neighboring country, three of which were intercepted. Ukraine, which has been defending itself against the Russian war of aggression for more than 15 months, is currently being shelled daily from far away from the front lines. The capital Kiev is also frequently and severely affected.
Meanwhile, the Russian occupiers also reported drone attacks on the annexed Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which were all repelled. “Crimea should feel that it belongs to Ukraine,” commented the spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Army Group South, Natalia Humenyuk, a little later.