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Russian strikes kill 17 in Ukraine following bridge assault

A view exhibits a residential constructing closely broken by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine October 9, 2022.

Stringer | Reuters

A Russian barrage pounded condominium buildings and different targets within the Ukrainian metropolis of Zaporizhzhia, killing no less than 17 folks and wounding dozens, officers stated Sunday.

The blasts within the metropolis, which stays below Ukrainian management however sits in a area Moscow has claimed as its personal, blew out home windows in adjoining buildings and left no less than one high-rise condominium constructing partially collapsed.

The a number of strikes got here after an explosion Saturday precipitated the partial collapse of a bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula with Russia. The Kerch Bridge assault broken an essential provide route for the Kremlin’s faltering conflict effort in southern Ukraine, an artery that is also a towering image of Russia’s energy within the area.

The rockets that pounded Zaporizhzhia in a single day broken no less than 20 non-public properties and 50 condominium buildings, metropolis council Secretary Anatoliy Kurtev stated. At the least 40 folks have been hospitalized, Kurtev stated on Telegram.

The Ukrainian navy confirmed the assault, saying there have been dozens of casualties.

Residents gathered behind police tape by a constructing the place a number of flooring collapsed from the blast, leaving a smoldering chasm no less than 40 ft huge the place residences as soon as stood.

Tetyana Lazun’ko, 73, and her husband, Oleksii, took shelter within the hallway of their top-floor condominium after listening to sirens, warning of an assault. They have been spared the worst of the blast that left them in worry and disbelief.

“There was an explosion. All the pieces was shaking,” Lazun’ko stated. “All the pieces was flying and I used to be screaming.”

Distressed native residents sit at a website of a residential space closely broken by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine October 9, 2022.

Stringer | Reuters

Shards of glass, total window and door frames and different particles lined the outside flooring of the condominium the place they’d lived since 1974. Lazun’ko wept inconsolably, questioning why their dwelling in an space with no navy infrastructure in sight was focused.

“Why are they bombing us? Why?” she stated.

Oleksii, who sat quietly, leaning on a picket cane, has suffered three strokes, Lazun’ko stated. Breaking his silence, he stated slowly, “That is worldwide terrorism. You’ll be able to’t be saved from it.”

In current weeks, Russia has repeatedly struck Zaporizhzhia, which is the capital of a area of the identical identify that Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed in violation of worldwide legislation final week. At the least 19 folks died in Russian missile strikes on condominium buildings within the metropolis on Thursday.

“Once more, Zaporizhzhia. Once more, cruel assaults on civilians, focusing on residential buildings, in the midst of the night time,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote in a Telegram publish.

“Absolute meanness. Absolute evil. … From the one who gave this order, to everybody who carried out this order: they’ll reply. They have to. Earlier than the legislation and the folks,” he added

Whereas Russia focused Zaporizhzhia earlier than Saturday’s explosion on the Crimea bridge, the assault was a major blow to Russia, which annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. Nobody has claimed duty for damaging the bridge.

Putin signed a decree late Saturday tightening safety for the bridge and for power infrastructure between Crimea and Russia, and put Russia’s federal safety service, the FSB, in command of the hassle.

Some Russian lawmakers referred to as for Putin to declare a “counterterrorism operation,” fairly than the time period “particular navy operation” which has downplayed the scope of combating to peculiar Russians.

Hours after the explosion, Russia’s Protection Ministry introduced that the air drive chief, Gen. Sergei Surovikin, would now command all Russian troops in Ukraine. Surovikin, who this summer season was positioned in command of troops in southern Ukraine, had led Russian forces in Syria and was accused of overseeing a bombardment that destroyed a lot of Aleppo.

The 19-kilometer (12-mile) Kerch Bridge, on a strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, is a logo of Moscow’s claims on Crimea and a necessary hyperlink to the peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The $3.6 billion bridge, the longest in Europe, is important to sustaining Russia’s navy operations in southern Ukraine. Putin himself presided over the bridge’s opening in Might 2018.

This video seize taken and launched on October 8, 2022 exhibits thick black smoke rising from a hearth on the Kerch bridge that hyperlinks Crimea to Russia.

– | Afp | Getty Photos

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a video deal with, not directly acknowledged the bridge assault however didn’t deal with its trigger.

“Right this moment was not a nasty day and largely sunny on our state’s territory,” he stated. “Sadly, it was cloudy in Crimea. Though it was additionally heat.”

Zelenskyy stated Ukraine desires a future “with out occupiers. All through our territory, specifically in Crimea.”

Zelenskyy additionally stated Ukrainian forces superior or held the road within the east and south, however acknowledged “very, very troublesome, very robust combating” across the metropolis of Bakhmut within the jap Donetsk area, the place Russian forces have claimed current beneficial properties.

Practice and car visitors over the bridge was briefly suspended. Vehicle visitors resumed Saturday afternoon on one of many two hyperlinks that remained intact, with the move alternating in every course, stated Crimea’s Russia-backed chief, Sergey Aksyonov.

The Russian transport ministry stated on Telegram Sunday that passenger prepare visitors between Crimea and the Russian mainland resumed in a single day “in line with schedule.”

In a separate Telegram publish Sunday, the ministry stated automotive ferries additionally have been working between Crimea and the mainland, with the primary crossing going down shortly earlier than 2 a.m. native time (11 p.m. GMT).

Whereas Russia seized areas north of Crimea early in its invasion of Ukraine and constructed a land hall to it alongside the Sea of Azov, Ukraine is urgent a counteroffensive to reclaim that territory in addition to 4 areas Putin illegally annexed this month.

Russia has ramped up its strikes on the town of Zaporizhzhia since formally absorbing the encircling area on September 29.

The regional governor of Zaporizhzhia reported that the dying toll had risen to 32 after Russia’s missile strike on a civilian convoy making its approach out of the town on Sept. 30. In a Telegram publish, Oleksandr Starukh that another individual died within the hospital on Friday.

Rescuers and volunteers carry a bag with the physique of a civilian individual discovered lifeless at a residential space closely broken by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine October 9, 2022. 

Stringer | Reuters

Part of the Zaporizhzhia area at present below Russian management is dwelling to Europe’s largest nuclear energy station. Preventing has repeatedly imperiled the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Energy Plant, and Ukrainian authorities shut down its final working reactor final month to stop a radiation catastrophe.

The Worldwide Atomic Power Company, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, stated Saturday that the Zaporizhzhia plant has since misplaced its final remaining exterior energy supply on account of renewed shelling and is now counting on emergency diesel turbines.

The Crimean Peninsula is a well-liked vacation spot for Russian vacationers and residential to a Russian naval base. A Russian vacationer affiliation estimated that fifty,000 vacationers have been in Crimea on Saturday.

Russian strikes kill 17 in Ukraine following bridge assault

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