Russia used 6-tonne missile made for sinking aircraft carriers to blow up flats

At least 21 people are dead after Russia blew up a block of Ukrainian flats using a giant six-tonne missile.

The bombing was carried out using an X-22, also known as a Kh-22, which is an anti-missile weapon made up of a six-tonne rocket and a one-tonne warhead that can be used to launch nuclear weapons.

One of the casualties of the attack in Dnipro was a 15-year-old girl.

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The weapon, which are also known as "carrier killers", was first created by Russian engineers during the Cold War to sink US aircraft carriers in the event of a third World War.

However, Putin's troops are now launching the weapons at civilians' homes.

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."

Strategic bombers from the 52nd Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment are thought to have launched five such bombs at Dnipro.

The missiles flew towards their target at speeds of up to 3,500mph, with one of them striking a nine-floor block of flats, leaving those inside burning alive.

Hundreds of people have been left homeless after the attack, and rescuers worked tirelessly to free one woman who was caught in the rubble, while 40 more people remain unaccounted for.

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

Ukrainian officials said their army does not have the capability to shoot down weapons like 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 issued a plea for new anti-aircraft systems able to shoot down the weapons in a bid to protect civilians.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the West on Saturday (January 14) to supply his country with more weapons, saying that Russian "terror" could be only come to an end with retaliation.

"What is needed for this? Those weapons that are in the warehouses of our partners," said Zelenskyy.

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