Ukraine accuses Russia of killing 17 people in Zaporizhzhia

The Ukraine Defence Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, has said that a Russian missile strike on the Southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia killed at least 17 people with dozens more wounded and several residential buildings destroyed.


Since the war started, Zaporizhzhia City has been under Ukrainian control but it is part of a region that Russia claimed it annexed last month.


It was gathered that Zaporizhzhia has been hit repeatedly in recent weeks as Russia hits back at urban areas after suffering defeats in the South and Northeast regions of Ukraine.


BBC reports that parts of the Zaporizhzhia region, including its nuclear power plant which is around 30 miles (52km) from the city have been under Russian control since early in the Russian invasion in Ukraine.


In a BBC report, the Ukrainian regional governor in Zaporizhzhia, Oleksandr Starukh, said that 12 Russian missiles partially destroyed a nine-storey building, and leveled five other residential buildings.


Starukh was quoted as saying on a Telegram that “there may be more people under the rubble. A rescue operation is under way at the scene. Eight people have already been rescued.”

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Reacting to the strike, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky described the shelling as “merciless strikes on peaceful people again, absolute meanness, absolute evil. Savages and terrorists. From the one who gave this order to everyone who fulfilled this order. They will bear responsibility. For sure. Before the law and before people.”


It was further reported that at the plant itself, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said that the security situation had deteriorated after the overnight shelling on Friday night which cut all external power.


Grossi said that following the incident, the plant now relies on diesel generators for the electricity it needs for reactor cooling and other essential nuclear safety.

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The agency, IAEA, is said to be pushing for a protection zone to prevent further damage to the site; meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the shelling.


However, Russian divers are beginning a fuller examination of the damage done by Saturday’s explosion on the road and rail bridge linking occupied Crimea with Russia.


But whereas limited movement has resumed along one lane, a section of the bridge was reportedly brought down by the shelling strike.


After the attack, it was learnt that security has been tightened while the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has ordered a full investigation into the strike.

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