Death toll in Russian missile strike on Ukraine apartment building spikes to 40

First responders increased the death toll from Russia’s weekend missile strike on a Ukrainian apartment building to 40 on Monday.

The nine-story apartment building in Dnipro suffered a direct hit from a Russian ballistic missile Saturday evening. First responders have cleared out debris in search of survivors for days since the attack, and the death toll has risen from 23 to 40 as of Monday. Rescue efforts have also saved 39 people trapped in the debris.

The Dnipro attack was part of a wave of missile strikes Russia launched into Ukraine this past weekend. In all, Russia fired 30 missiles targeting Dnipro and other major cities, but Ukrainian forces shot down more than 20 of them mid-flight.

“Boom — and that’s it. We saw that we were alive and that’s all,” said Oleksander Anyskevych, a resident of the building, in an interview with the Associated Press.

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Emergency personnel work at the site where an apartment block was heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike in Dnipro, Ukraine, on Jan. 15, 2023. (Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

A view shows an apartment building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike in Dnipro, Ukraine, on Jan. 14, 2023.
(Governor of Dnipropetrovsk region Valentyn Reznichenko via Telegram/Handout via Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the “positive dynamic” of his ongoing invasion of Ukraine on Sunday, just hours after the missile strike.

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“There is a positive dynamic, everything is developing according to plans,” Putin told reporters. “I hope that our fighters will please us more than once again.”

The missile strike in Dnipro coincided with another attack on the capital of Kyiv. There, Ukrainian officials reported damage to infrastructure but no civilian casualties.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the attacks on Twitter, saying, “Eternal memory to all whose lives were taken by Russian terror.”

“It was possible to save dozens of people, wounded, traumatized,” Zelenskyy said. “Among them are children; the youngest girl is 3 years old.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 21, 2022.
(AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Russian President Vladimir Putin
(Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via Reuters/File)

“The world must stop evil,” Zelenskyy said as search and rescue teams sifted through debris. “All services are working. We’re fighting for every person, every life. We’ll find everyone involved in terror.”

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Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat told Ukrainian media that the missiles most likely “flew on a ballistic trajectory” from north of Ukraine. He said that Ukrainian forces currently have no method of shooting down such missiles, at least not until operators have been trained in the use of U.S. Patriot missiles, which President Joe Biden’s administration is poised to deliver next week.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.