Ukraine war: Hopes fade for survivors of Dnipro strike as number of dead reaches 40

Hopes are fading for more survivors to be found in the wreckage of an apartment block in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro - a day after the building was hit during a major Russian missile strike.

Forty people have been confirmed dead, with two children among them. Another 75 were injured, including 14 children, Valentyn Reznichenko, the Dnipropetrovsk regional governor, said on Monday morning.

A total of 30 are still missing and feared trapped under the rubble of the nine-storey block, and the city's mayor Borys Filatov was pessimistic about prospects of more survivors being found.

Rescue efforts are still underway almost two full days after the missile strike, which has proven to be one of the most fatal single strikes of the war so far.

So far 39 people have been rescued and at least 75 have been wounded including 14 children.

The fate of 30 other residents of the apartment block remains unknown.

Mr Filatov told Reuters news agency that two stairwells in the block including dozens of flats had been destroyed. The search is continuing.

The attack on Dnipro was one of the deadliest strikes of the war against civilians.

The number of people killed makes it the highest death toll in one place since a strike on the Zaporizhzhia region in September 2022.

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Ukraine's air force said that the block had been struck by a Russian Kh-22 missile, an antiquated weapon which is known to be inaccurate and that Ukraine lacks the air defences to shoot down. The Soviet-era missile was developed during the Cold War to destroy warships.

During the rescue operation on Sunday, emergency workers heard people screaming for help from the wreckage and waited for periods of silence to help direct their efforts.

Firefighters found a woman alive more than 18 hours after the attack, carrying her to safety in their arms; then a body was retrieved and lifted from the ruins on a stretcher by a crane.

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Russia has not specifically acknowledged the attack, but its defence ministry released a statement saying it had launched a wave of missile strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure and military sites.

"All assigned objects were hit," the statement said. "The targets of the strike have been achieved."

In his nightly address, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to keep looking for survivors of the Dnipro attack.

"Search and rescue operations and the dismantling of dangerous structural elements continues. Around the clock. We continue to fight for every life."

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He called on Western allies to supply more weapons to end "Russian terror" and attacks on civilian targets.

Saturday's attack came after Britain had followed France and Poland with promises of further weapons, saying it would send 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks as well as artillery support.