Ukrainian officials said on Sunday they believed Russian troops were responsible for an explosion at a high-rise apartment building in Dnipro that killed more than 20 people.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said it was Russia’s 52nd Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment.
“According to preliminary information, the Kh-22 missiles were used. This missile caused the greatest casualties because the missiles were extremely inaccurate and had large deviations. Therefore, the use of such weapons against targets in populated areas is clearly a war crime ,” the Ukrainian office said in a Telegram post. “This rocket was used in Sergiivka and Kremenchuk. It can be launched by a Russian unit – the 52nd Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment.”
Kh-22 missiles caused widespread destruction and death Saturday in Dnipro, in disputed eastern Ukraine, where Russia has seized much of the territory and fought to save it.
president of ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky A video was released on Saturday showing that a nine-story apartment building in Dnipro had been razed, killing at least five people.
“The eternal memory of all those whose lives were taken [Russian] fear! The world must stop evil. Debris removal in Dnipro continues. All services are working. We fight for every person, every life. We’ll find out that everyone is involved in terror. Everyone will take responsibility. Most,” Zelensky wrote.
The city of Dnipro has issued a three-day mourning period to remember the 29 people killed in a rocket attack on Saturday.
The Attorney General’s Office called the attack a crime against humanity because it was located far from the military installation.
“This tragedy is not only a war crime, but a crime against humanity. Mass killing of civilians in Ukraine,” the office said. “Every piece of significant evidence will be documented. Investigators and prosecutors will identify and bring to justice the person who directly fired the missile and the commander who gave this criminal order. The entire Russian military leadership.”
On Saturday night, Ukraine said it did not have enough equipment to shoot down missiles such as the Kh-22 or X-22, like those used on the Dnieper.
“In the Ukrainian Armed Forces, there is no firepower capable of shooting down such missiles. Since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, more than 210 such missiles have been fired. None of them have been shot down by anti-aircraft equipment,” said Ukrainian Armed Forces Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Nikolai Oleshuk said.
Ukraine does have defenses that can decipher these as Kh-22 missiles, but not the capability to shoot them down.
“Only anti-aircraft missile complexes that Western partners can provide to Ukraine in the future, such as the Patriot PAC-3 or SAMP-T systems, will be able to intercept data air targets,” Oleschuk said.
U.S. has pledged to supply Ukraine with Patriot missile defense system, based on talks with Zelensky and the U.S. president joe biden end of 2022. Other Western European nations have also pledged to build similar air defense systems.