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Russian strikes hit central Ukraine city Dnipro

UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT

Three missiles hit civilian buildings in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Friday, destroying a shoe factory and killing one security guard.

Three missiles hit an apartment building, a migration office and a council administration building in the Novokodatsky district, setting fire to the factory.

Valentin Yermolenko, public affairs officer for the regional military administration, said there were no military facilities in the area and that one person was killed, a security guard.

The district prosecutor has opened an investigation into the attack over the possible violation of the laws of war.

Residents living close to the shoe factory said they heard the first explosion just before 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and the second at 6:10 am. The third strike was further away.

Local residents and shop owners were working Friday to clear up broken glass and board up the open frames as snow fell and temperatures dipped far below zero.

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“We heard a loud explosion and the windows broke and bits of the ceiling started to fall. When there was a second one, we ran out to shelter in the metro but the entrance had also been damaged,” said Svetlana Kalenecheko, who lives and works in a clinic next to the shoe factory.

“Today, we were supposed to host people who need a lot of support. We work with people with HIV and AIDS. Now we can’t help anyone.”

The windows had also been blown out of a nearby kindergarten.

Mayor Boris Filativ said in a video statement that the situation remains under control and that there are no Russian troops in the city.

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Dnipro had been considered a safe haven, suffering few attacks since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

As a result, it has become a hub for the coordination of humanitarian aid and for people fleeing more severe fighting in the country’s east.

As firefighters battled the blaze in the morning, air raid sirens sounded on multiple occasions, forcing them to take shelter in a nearby metro station.

Sheltering in the metro, several generations of a family from besieged Volnovakha, a city close to what was the front line with Russian-backed separatists, said they had fled to Dnipro last week for safety.

After hearing this morning’s attacks, they are afraid to leave the underground station, and with little money they don’t know what they will do now.

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