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President Putin said “everything is developing within the framework of the plan of the ministry of defence and the general staff”.

Belarus, on Ukraine’s northern border, is beginning joint air force drills with Russia on Monday. The Belarusian defence ministry insists they will be defensive, but there are concerns that Moscow is pressuring Minsk to join the war in Ukraine. Belarus was one of Russia’s launchpads for the invasion last February.

In his evening address on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted he had received many messages of sympathy from around the world and condemned the Russian people’s “cowardly silence” over the Dnipro attack.

Switching to Russian during his message, he said he wanted to address those “who even now could not utter a few words of condemnation of this terror”.

“Your cowardly silence, your attempt to ‘wait out’ what is happening, will only end with the fact that one day these same terrorists will come for you.”

He added the victims of the strike included a 15-year-old girl and that two children had been left orphans.

It has been two weeks since the last wave of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power grid. On Saturday, Mr Zelensky said energy infrastructure in the Kharkiv and Kyiv regions had been badly hit.

Following the attacks, Ukrainian state energy company Ukrenergo temporarily imposed round-the-clock consumption limits for all regions. Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said the next few days would be “difficult”.

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