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Russia used a 6 tonne X-22 missile made for sinking US aircraft carriers to blow up Ukrainian flats killing 21 civilians #Russia #tonne #X22 #missile #sinking #aircraft #carriers #blow #Ukrainian #flats #killing #civilians #englishheadline


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RUSSIA used a six-tonne missile designed for sinking aircraft carriers to blow up Ukrainian civilians.

At least 21 people were killed – including a 15-year-old girl – as Vladimir Putin’s forces blew up a block of flats in Dnipro.

The massive X-22 missiles are designed to sink warships

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The massive X-22 missiles are designed to sink warshipsCredit: UKRAINE MOD
The X-22 being carried by a strategic bomber

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The X-22 being carried by a strategic bomberCredit: Alamy
Emergency workers clear the rubble in Dnipro

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Emergency workers clear the rubble in DniproCredit: AP
Ukrainian servicemen carry a body of a man who was killed in the strike

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Ukrainian servicemen carry a body of a man who was killed in the strikeCredit: AP
A woman sitting in the ruins of her destroyed apartment in Dnipro

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A woman sitting in the ruins of her destroyed apartment in DniproCredit: Arsen Dzodzaev/Hromadske

Ukrainian officials said the Russians used a massive X-22 – also known as the Kh-22 – anti-ship missile to level the apartments.

The missile is a six tonne rocket with a one tonne warhead capable of being fitted with a nuke.

Russian engineers created the weapon during the Cold War.

It was designed with the explicit intent to be used to sink US aircraft carriers should World War 3 break out.

They are known as “carrier killers”.

But instead Putin’s twisted forces are firing them against innocent people in their own homes.

Flying towards their target at speeds of up to 3,500mph, the land or air-fired missile has potentially devastating firepower.

Ukrainian defence chief Andriy Zagorodnyuk said: “[Kh-22’s were] originally designed in 1960s to attack air carriers.

“But Russians decided to use against civilians.”

Russian Tu-22m3 strategic bombers from the 52nd Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment are believed to have launched five of the missiles at Dnipro.

And one of them struck a nine-floor apartment block, totally levelling one section and leaving civilians buried alive.

Ukrainian officials have said their military does not have the capability to shoot down the X-22.

In a statement, the air force said: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine have no firepower capable of shooting down this type of missile.

“Since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression, more than 210 missiles of this type have been launched at the territory of Ukraine.

“None of them has been shot down by air defense systems.”

They called for new anti-aircraft systems to help shoot down the missiles and to protect their civilians.

Ukraine’s regional council head Mykola Lukashuk said 21 people were dead and 40 remaining missing after the strike.

Rescuers battled through the night in a bid to free a woman trapped under the rubble after hearing her voice, the state emergency service said.

The strike destroyed dozens of flats in the Dnipro apartment block leaving hundreds of people homeless

“Rescue operations continue. The fate of more than 40 people remain unknown,” said regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday pleaded for more Western military weapons, saying that Russian “terror” could be stopped only on the battlefield.

“What is needed for this? Those weapons that are in the warehouses of our partners,” said Zelensky.

An fireman stands amid the wreckage as they search for survivors

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An fireman stands amid the wreckage as they search for survivorsCredit: Reuters
Emergency workers carry a body found among debris

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Emergency workers carry a body found among debrisCredit: Reuters
Fire rages as the nine-storey block was levelled by the Russian missile

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Fire rages as the nine-storey block was levelled by the Russian missileCredit: EPA

It came after the UK pledged to provide Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine – becoming the the first Western country to supply the heavy tanks.

The tanks would arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks, Downing Street said, adding that Britain would also train the Ukrainian Armed Forces on how to use them.

Russia’s embassy in Britain warned that “bringing tanks to the conflict zone, far from drawing the hostilities to a close, will only serve to intensify combat operations, generating more casualties, including among the civilian population”.

Moldova, Ukraine’s southwestern neighbour, said it had found Russian missile debris on its territory after Saturday’s strikes.

“Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine directly impacts Moldova again,” President Maia Sandu tweeted, posting photographs of the wreckage.

“We strongly condemn today’s intensified attacks.”

Ukraine’s energy facilities were still reeling Sunday from what was a 12th wave of large-scale Russian attacks on energy infrastructure in recent months.

The attacks targeted power infrastructure in the Kharkiv, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zaporizhzhia, Vinnytsia and Kyiv regions, Energy Minister German Galushchenko said.

On Sunday, operator Ukrenergo said energy infrastructure was “being restored” but that the attacks had “increased the energy deficit”.

“The period of outages may increase,” it acknowledged.

On Saturday, Ukrenergo said emergency blackouts were introduced in “a number of regions”.

Zelensky said Ukraine shot down 20 of the more than 30 Russian missiles fired.

“Unfortunately, energy infrastructure facilities have been also hit,” he said, adding that the regions of Kyiv and Kharkiv, home to the country’s eponymous second city, were suffering the most.

The strikes came amid uncertainty about the fate of Soledar, a salt mining outpost that Russia claimed to have captured, against denials from Ukraine.

Both sides have conceded heavy losses in the battle for the town.

On Sunday, the US-based Institute for the Study of War said that “Ukrainian forces are highly unlikely to still hold positions within the settlement of Soledar itself”.

The industrial town with a pre-war population of about 10,000 has been reduced to rubble through intense fighting.

Ukraine’s military governor in the eastern region of Donetsk insisted Saturday that “Soledar is controlled by Ukrainian authorities”.

“Battles continue in and outside of the city”, he added.

On Friday, Russia’s defence ministry said that it had “completed the liberation” of Soledar the previous day.

Capturing Soledar would be a key gain as Russian forces push towards what has been their main target since October — the nearby transport crossroads of Bakhmut.

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