KYIV: Emergency crews pulled the body of a toddler from the rubble in a pre-dawn search for survivors on Saturday of a Russian missile strike that tore through an apartment building in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih.
The missile was one of what Ukrainian authorities said were 16 that got through air defenses among the 76 missiles fired Friday in the latest Russian attack targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure, part of Moscow’s strategy to leave Ukrainian civilians and soldiers in the dark and cold this winter.
Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko of the Dnipropetrovsk region, where Kryvyi Rih is located, wrote on the Telegram social media app that “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 all, four people were killed in the strike, and 13 injured — four of them children — authorities said.
The victims were “a 64-year-old woman and a young family with a small son,” he wrote.
Reznichenko said the pounding from Russian forces continued overnight, damaging power lines and houses in the cities and towns of Nikopol, Marhanets and Chervonohryhorivka, which are across the Dnieper River from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
By Saturday morning, Ukraine’s military leadership said Russian forces had updated the number of missiles fired in the latest attack to 98. It did not say how many in total had been stopped by the air defenses.
The onslaught Friday, which pummeled many parts of central, eastern and southern Ukraine, involved one of the biggest attacks yet on the capital, Kyiv, in the war sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Kyiv came under fire from about 40 missiles on Friday, authorities said, though air defenses intercepted 37 of them.
Utility crews were scrambling to patch up damaged power and water systems.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported Saturday that two-thirds of homes had been reconnected to electricity and all had regained access to water. The subway system also resumed service, after serving as a shelter the day before.
In Kryvyi Rih, 596 miners stuck underground because of missile strikes were all rescued, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul reported late Friday.