The defence ministry of Ukraine says that Russian missile strikes on the city of Zaporizhzhia in the country’s southeast kills at least 17 people.

Dozens more people were injured and several buildings were destroyed.

Russia kills 17 Ukrainians in a recent missile attack
Russia kills 17 Ukrainians in a recent missile attack

Despite being a part of an area that Russia claims it seized last month, the city is still under Ukrainian sovereignty.


In the past few weeks, Zaporizhzhia has been hit several times. This is because Russia is hitting urban areas after losing in the south and north-east of Ukraine.


Since the beginning of the invasion, Russia has been in charge of parts of Zaporizhzhia, including its nuclear power plant, which is about 52 km (30 miles) from the city.


Paul Adams of the BBC was recently in the city. He says that the buildings that have been hit are not obvious military targets and that the attacks seem to be completely random.



Over the past nine days, more than 60 civilians are thought to have been killed in and around Zaporizhzhia.


The Ukrainian president, Zelensky, said that the shelling was “again a cruel attack on peaceful people.”


“Absolute meanness,” he said. “Absolute evil. They are wild and dangerous. From the person who gave this order to all of those who followed it. They will have to take care of things. For sure. People and the law come first.”

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Oleksandr Starukh, the governor of the Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia, said that 12 Russian missiles had destroyed five homes and damaged part of a nine-story building.


“It’s possible that more people are under the rubble. At the scene, people are trying to help. So far, eight people have been saved, “he said on Telegram.


People who lived through the attacks have talked about how the blasts woke them up.


Kateryna Ivanova told AFP that she and her family had to run to the bathroom when smoke filled their apartment.


Ms. Ivanova says that when she ran out into the street to get away from the destruction, she was met by a neighbour who “screamed that her husband was dead.”


Another resident, 38-year-old Lyudmyla, told the news agency Reuters that she rushed to wake up her sleeping children and get them to safety after a “roaring” blast “completely destroyed” the door to her home.


Bohdan, her 10-year-old son, said the missile attack was “horrible” and that he woke up to the sound of people screaming.

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Saturday that the security situation at the plant had gotten worse after shelling cut off all power from the outside the night before.


Mr. Grossi said that the plant now uses diesel generators to make the electricity it needs to cool the reactors and do other important safety tasks.


The IAEA is pushing for a buffer zone to protect the site from more damage. Both Russia and Ukraine have said that the shelling was done by the other.


At the same time, Russian divers are starting to look more closely at the damage caused by the explosion on Saturday on the road and rail bridge that connects occupied Crimea to Russia.


One lane of the bridge is now open to limited traffic, but a piece of the bridge was destroyed by the blast.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a full investigation and tightened security.

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