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Missile and drone strikes across Ukraine claim more than 20 lives

Following a Russian attack, first responders remove rubble at a residential building in Uman, central Ukraine, Friday, April 28, 2023.
Bernat Armangue
/
AP
Following a Russian attack, first responders remove rubble at a residential building in Uman, central Ukraine, Friday, April 28, 2023.

Updated April 28, 2023 at 4:10 PM ET

An apartment building in the central Ukrainian city of Uman was been hit during a series of early morning airstrikes across the country on Friday, killing at least 21 people, Ukrainian officials said.

The commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces, Valery Zaluzhny, said Ukraine managed to shoot down 21 incoming cruise missiles out of a total of 23, with the remaining two hitting Uman and Dnipro.

The attack on Uman is the deadliest strike on a Ukrainian apartment building since 40 people were killed in Dnipro in January.

The regional military administrator for Uman, Ihor Taburets, told reporters that three children were among 21 killed in the apartment building, with more likely to be found dead in the rubble.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said rescue and forensics teams have been dispatched from Kyiv, added that it will take more than a day to search the ruins for more victims. So far, Ukraine's emergency service has managed to rescue 17 people.

Meanwhile, the regional military administrator in Dnipro said at least two people are dead from another missile strike on a low-rise housing complex.

The General Prosecutor's Office says it is investigating the cases as potential war crimes, alleging Russian forces intentionally targeted civilian areas.

The Associated Press quoted Russian defense officials as saying their forces aimed long-range cruise missiles at places where Ukrainian military reserve units were staying and achieved their goal.

But Uman administrator Taburets said there weren't any military targets adjacent to the apartment complex in the city.

"They shoot in order to terrify us," Taburets said. "For all of their claims of advanced equipment, Russians nonetheless hit civilian buildings all the time."

The strikes come one day after a similar attack on a historic apartment building in the southern city of Mykolaiv, which left one person dead. All three attacks used high-precision cruise missiles, according to Ukrainian officials.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Julian Hayda
Joanna Kakissis
Joanna Kakissis is an international correspondent based in Kyiv, Ukraine, where she leads NPR's bureau and coverage of a conflict that has upended millions of lives, affected global energy and food supplies and pitted NATO against Russia.
Polina Lytvynova