EU says deadly missile attack in Dnipro constitutes a 'war crime'

AP - Evgeniy Maloletka

The toll from a weekend missile strike on the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro rose to 40 on Monday, as more bodies were pulled from the debris of a multistorey building. EU presidency holder Sweden condemned the attack, saying it constituted a war crime. Russia has denied responsibility.

The emergency services gave the new toll specifying that three children were among those dead and that 34 people remain unaccounted for.

The Kremlin told a press conference that its forces were not responsible. An unsubstantiated theory circulating on social media suggests that Ukrainian air defence systems had caused the damage.

"The Russian armed forces do not strike residential buildings or social infrastructure. They strike military targets," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that search operations would go on as long as necessary. He condemned Russia's "cowardly silence" over the attack.

Sweden's Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, said he condemned the attack in the strongest terms. "Intentional attacks against civilians are war crimes," he added.

The German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, called for the establishment of a special international tribunal to prosecute Russian leaders over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

More than 7,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbour last February, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
France to send armoured vehicles to war-torn Ukraine
Further air attacks on Kyiv follow Russia's New Year assaults
International Criminal Court gets backing to speed up Ukraine war crimes investigation