KYIV: An airstrike hit a residential district in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro, killing a two-year-old girl and injuring 22 others, officials said Sunday.
The attack, which President Volodymyr Zelensky blamed on Russia, partially destroyed a pair of two-storey buildings as well as 10 private homes, a shop and a gas pipeline, according to the region's governor.
Russian airstrikes over Ukraine have ratcheted up in recent weeks, as have incursions in the opposite direction.
Kyiv has for months said it is preparing a major counter-offensive against Moscow's occupation forces, hoping to reclaim territory lost since Russia invaded in February 2022.
After Saturday's strike, a girl's body was pulled from the wreckage.
"At night, a girl's body was retrieved from under the rubble of a house in the Pidhorodnenska community," Serhiy Lysak, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, posted on Telegram early Sunday. "She just turned two." "22 people were injured, 5 of them were children," he added, having said earlier that three boys were in serious condition at the hospital. Zelensky blamed Russia for the strike, saying more people were trapped beneath the wreckage. "The Russians attacked the city," Zelensky posted on Facebook on Saturday.
"Once again, Russia proves it is a terrorist state. The Russians will bear responsibility for everything committed against our state and people." Video posted by Zelensky showed rescue workers searching the destroyed building, to the sound of industrial drills.
In Kyiv, the head of the local military administration said the capital's air defences repelled several missiles and drones.
"According to preliminary information, not a single aerial target reached the capital," Serhiy Popko wrote on Telegram on Sunday.
"The air defence forces destroyed everything heading towards the city at long distance. For the second night in a row, the residents of Kyiv did not hear the sounds of explosions overhead."
On Saturday, Ukrainian shelling killed two people in Russia's Belgorod, a border region that has been hit by repeated attacks this week, the local governor said.
Belgorod villages have been targeted by unprecedented shelling, and the latest deaths bring the overall toll there to seven this week.