Israeli aid group assisting in Dnipro after devastating Russian missile strike

Psychologists trained by IsraAID helping Ukrainians affected by attack, as death toll rises to 40; group also providing food, blankets and more

Rescue workers carry the body of a man who was killed in a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro, Ukraine, Janyary 16, 2023. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)
Rescue workers carry the body of a man who was killed in a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro, Ukraine, Janyary 16, 2023. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

Israeli emergency aid organization IsraAID said Monday it had sent personnel to Dnipro, Ukraine, to assist in the response to a devastating Russian missile strike.

The organization said in a statement that IsraAID-trained psychologists were providing free support to families and first responders at four hospitals in Dnipro.

IsraAID was also providing food and other aid including blankets to city residents and families affected by the attack.

“Alongside the physical and medical aid, it’s so important that these families and first responders have access to psychological trauma care,” IsraAID’s Protection Coordinator in Ukraine Timofii Druzhynin said. “We’re glad that this group of psychologists is on the ground and able to support the survivors, helping them build resilience and recover from this difficult event.”

The organization maintains offices in Ukraine’s Kyiv and Odesa, as well as in Romania and Moldova, and has been on the ground since the start of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

IsraAID began training psychologists last September in partnership with the Ukrainian Health Ministry and the local nonprofit Barrier Free. Sixty mental health professionals trained in psychological first aid are stationed in several Ukrainian cities.

The toll from a devastating strike on Dnipro, in central Ukraine, rose past 40 on Tuesday as rescuers searched the rubble for 25 people still missing after one of Russia’s deadliest attacks since its invasion.

In this photo released by the Dnipro Regional Administration, smoke rises after a Russian rocket hit a multistory building leaving many people under debris in Dnipro, Ukraine, January 14, 2023. (Dnipro Regional Administration via AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the missile strike as a war crime.

“There is no doubt: Every person guilty of this war crime will be identified and brought to justice,” Zelensky said in his nightly address late Monday.

In Dnipro, residents gathered to get warm drinks and food next to the partially collapsed Soviet-style residential building that was ripped open by the strike on Saturday.

Emergency services gave the new toll specifying that three children were among the dead, with 25 people still unaccounted for. Seventy-seven were wounded in the strike.

“The rescue operation, the demolition of the rubble, will not end until the bodies of all the dead are found. So far, 40 people have died,” said deputy head of the presidency Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

The Kremlin claimed its forces were not responsible and pointed to an unsubstantiated theory circulating on social media that Ukrainian air defense systems had caused the damage.

“The Russian armed forces do not strike residential buildings or social infrastructure. They strike military targets,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

In this photo released by State Emergency Service of Ukraine on January 16, 2022, Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters carry a wounded woman out of the rubble from a building after a Russian rocket attack in Dnipro, Ukraine, January 15, 2023. (Pavel Petrov, SESU via AP)

EU presidency holder Sweden condemned the attack “in the strongest terms,” with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson telling reporters that “intentional attacks against civilians are war crimes.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the strike, with his spokesperson saying it was “another example of a suspected violation of the laws of war.”

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