The attack on the building came amid a broader Russian cruise missile barrage in Ukraine. The Ukrainian military said on Sunday that it did not have the means to intercept the type of Russian missile that hit the residential building in Dnipro.

Fierce fighting continued on Monday in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk province, where military analysts have said heavy troop casualties are likely to be suffered by both sides. An independent verification of the evolution was not possible.

Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk province make up Donbas, a sprawling industrial region bordering Russia that Russian President Vladimir Putin has identified as a focus since the start of the war. Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv forces there since 2014.

Russian and Belarusian air forces began a joint exercise on Monday in Belarus, which borders Ukraine and served as the scene for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The drills are scheduled for February 1, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said. Russia has sent its fighter jets to Belarus for the exercises.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, reported signs that the Kremlin is taking steps to turn its invasion of Ukraine into «a major conventional war» after months of embarrassing military setbacks.

What Moscow calls «a special military operation» was aimed at capturing the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in a matter of weeks and installing a pro-Kremlin regime there, but Russian forces eventually withdrew from around Kyiv, the group said. of experts. Then came a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive in recent months before the onset of winter slowed military advances.

“It is likely that the Kremlin is preparing to carry out a decisive strategic action in the next six months with the intention of regaining the initiative and ending Ukraine’s current series of operational successes,” said the Institute for the Study of the War in a report Sunday night.

He pointed to reports indicating that the Russian military command was in «serious preparations» for an expanded mobilization effort, conserving mobilized personnel for future use, while seeking to boost military industrial production and reorganize its command structure.

That means Ukraine’s Western allies «will have to continue to support Ukraine in the long term,» the think tank said.

NATO member nations have tried in recent days to reassure Ukraine that they will stay the course. the UK has compromised tanks and the new expanded combat training of the Ukrainian forces of the US Army began in Germany on Sunday.