At least three dead in latest Russian missile campaign

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By Isabella Jewell  & AP
A woman cries in front of the building which was destroyed by a Russian attack in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.
A woman cries in front of the building which was destroyed by a Russian attack in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.   -  Copyright  Evgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has condemned the latest major attack on his country, claiming that Russia launched 76 rockets on Friday, which triggered widespread power outages. 

In a video address, he said that Ukrainian air defences stopped 60 of the rockets fired by Russia, praising the work of the 96th anti-aircraft missile brigade which destroyed 40 missiles aimed at central regions of the country and near Kyiv. 

However, in central Ukraine's largest city, Kryvyi Rih, a rocket hit a residential building, killing at least three people and injuring more than a dozen others, including children. 

Highlighting this attack in his update, Zelenskyy branded the Russians "terrorists" saying "all their targets today are civilian". 

"In Kryvyi Rih, the demolition of a residential building, which was hit by one of the Russian rockets, continued all day. The list of the dead so far includes three. My condolences to all the relatives. More than ten people were injured, including children. Everyone is getting help."

"As a result of this war, the meaning of the word "terror" for most people in the world will be associated primarily with such crazy actions by Russia" he added. 

Evgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
Destroyed residential building in Kryvyi RiyEvgeniy Maloletka/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved

According to officials, there were emergency power outages across the country on Friday in most cities and regions, with the water supply stopping in Kyiv and 14 oblasts. 

This brutal missile attack comes after the European Union approved a new package of sanctions on Thursday aimed at increasing pressure on Russia. 

The Ukrainian President said on Friday that he hopes this ninth round of sanctions for the war will not be the last, "because it is obvious that the pressure needs to be increased" on Putin's regime. 

"I thank all those leaders and countries who fought for a stronger package, but we will work with the European Commission, with the leaders of the EU countries, with the European public, so that the existing sanctions policy works towards the end of the war and does not give Russia wrong signals - signals that someone is ready to ease the pressure."