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Several Detained at Makeshift Moscow Memorial to Dnipro Strike Victims

A woman lays flowers in memory of those killed in the weekend strike on a residential block in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, at the monument to famous Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka in Moscow on Jan. 17. AFP

Several people were detained in Moscow at a makeshift memorial dedicated to victims of Saturday’s deadly missile strike on a Ukrainian residential building, media reported late Tuesday.

At least 45 people, including six children, were killed and 20 remain missing after a Russian missile struck an apartment building in the east-central city of Dnipro, in one of the deadliest attacks of Russia’s nearly year-long war in Ukraine. Russia denies striking the residential building.

Muscovites started placing flowers at the statue of Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka soon after grisly images of the attack's aftermath appeared online. The memorial, which included a framed photo of the destroyed tower block, swelled in size after residents witnessed the flowers being removed early Tuesday.

According to the independent police-monitoring website OVD-Info, authorities detained two people who laid flowers at the monument in western Moscow along with two of their companions.

A man who came to lay flowers was held at a police station overnight on charges of petty hooliganism, OVD-Info said, citing eyewitnesses.

OVD-Info added that the police had been called by members of fringe nationalist group SERB, which is known for attacks on opposition activists and art exhibits.

The independent Sota news outlet said the memorial had been cleared out by late Tuesday and a police bus with law enforcement officers was posted near the monument early Wednesday.

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