EU says deadly missile attack in Dnipro constitutes ‘war crime’

The death toll from a missile attack on the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro rose to 40 on Monday, as more bodies were pulled from the rubble of a multi-storey building. The Swedish EU presidency condemned the attack and said it constituted a war crime. Russia has denied responsibility.

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

The Kremlin said at a news conference that its forces were not responsible. An unsubstantiated theory circulating on social media suggests that Ukrainian air defense systems had caused the damage.

“The Russian armed forces are not hitting residential buildings or social infrastructure. They are hitting targets,” Kremlin spokesman said.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that search efforts would continue as long as needed. He condemned Russia’s “cowardly silence” over the attack.

Sweden’s Prime Minister said he condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms. “Deliberate attacks on civilians are war crimes,” he added.

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

“What is needed is a tribunal that can investigate the Russian leadership and bring them to justice,” she said in a speech at the Academy of International Law in , where the International Criminal Court (ICC) is based.

Russia “must answer for crimes” in Ukraine, French president says

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

“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with large-area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and airstrikes,” it said in a statement.

Military exercises in

At the same time, Russia and Belarus have announced the start of joint military exercises.

Belarus, which has been a key ally of Russia throughout the conflict, allowed Moscow’s forces to launch their invasion from Belarusian territory last February.

The US-based said in an analytical note on Monday that the risk of a new offensive by Belarus was low and the risk of Belarus’ direct involvement in the war in Ukraine was very low.

Improved nuclear oversight

In a separate development, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, , was expected in Ukraine on Monday to deploy observer missions at nuclear power plants across the country that have been a key issue throughout Russia’s invasion.

“I am proud to lead this mission to Ukraine, where we are deploying to all of the country’s nuclear power plants to provide assistance with nuclear safety and security,” he said on .

“You are playing with fire” UN warns of shelling at

Ukraine has in recent weeks been pressing Western backers to supply its forces with advanced tanks, particularly the German-designed Leopard model.

Germany’s defense minister, Christine Lambrecht, resigned on Monday after months of criticism over ’s stuttering response to the situation in Ukraine.

Originally published on RFI

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


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