Body of toddler pulled from rubble as Putin rains missiles on Ukraine

Vladimir Putin says threat of nuclear weapons is 'growing'

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The body of a toddler was this morning pulled from the rubble of a apartment building hit by a Russian missile strike in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih – with harrowing pictures revealing the sheer scale of destruction. The missile was one of 16 which eluded air defences among the 76 missiles fired yesterday in the latest Russian attack targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure, part of Moscow’s apparent strategy of weaponising the cold weather.

Writing on Telegram, Governor Valentyn Reznichenko of the Dnipropetrovsk region, in which Kryvyi Rih is located, said: “Rescuers retrieved the body of a 1-1/2-year-old boy from under the rubble of a house destroyed by a Russian rocket.”

In total, four people were killed in the strike, with 13 more – including four children – injured. Mr Reznichenko said attacks continued overnight, hitting power lines and houses in the cities and towns of Nikopol, Marhanets and Chervonohryhorivka, across the Dnieper River from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

By this morning, Ukraine’s military leadership said Russian forces had fired more than a score of further missiles since the barrage a day earlier. It did not say how many of those might have been stopped by the air defences.

Friday’s onslaught, targeting many parts of central, eastern and southern Ukraine, represents one of the biggest assaults on Kyiv, since the invasion on February 24.

The capital came under fire from roughly 40 missiles on Friday, authorities said, almost all intercepted by air defences.

In Kherson, where Ukraine regained control last month in a significant setback for Russia, one 36-year-old man was today killed and a 70-year-old woman wounded in a Russian attack, said regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevych.

Ukrainian utility crews are working to patch up damaged power and water systems as Russia targets vital services for civilians as winter’s hardships set in.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said two-thirds of homes in the country’s capital had been reconnected to electricity and all had regained access to water.

The subway system also resumed service, having served as a shelter the day before.

Half of the Kyiv province, which surrounds but does not include the Ukrainian capital, still lacked electricity a day after Friday’s attack, Regional Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said, with rain and snow complicating efforts to restore power by making power lines icy.

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Oleh Syniehubov, head of Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv province said electricity had been restored to the entire region, including Kharkiv city, the country’s second-largest metropolis.

The power was knocked out yesterday after Russia launched ten S-300 missiles.

Meanwhile, also in Kryvyi Rih, 596 miners were stuck underground because of missile strikes, but all were eventually rescued, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said yesterday.

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