12 revenge rockets target civilians in southern Ukraine

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    The middle-aged woman survived the barrage of 12 rockets aimed at the civilian population of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine. At least 17 of her neighbours were killed and 87 wounded in the bombardment early yesterday.

    Fires raged among destroyed buildings as emergency workers frantically searched for other survivors.

    Putin’s forces launched the missiles at the ruined city’s civilian population in apparent retaliation following a string of military setbacks, including a huge bomb that partially destroyed a strategically important bridge in Crimea.

    Zaporizhzhia is under Ukrainian control but is in one of the four provinces illegally annexed by Russia last week.

    Ukraine’s President Zelensky described the bombardment as “merciless strikes on peaceful people again”.

    He added: “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.”

    Ukrainian MP LesiaVasylenko commented: “People went to bed and didn’t wake up. Not a good morning today in Ukraine.”

    The missile strike brings the death toll in and around Zaporizhzhia in the past nine days to more than 60.

    Parts of the region, called the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, have been under the control of Kremlin forces since the invasion, including its nuclear power plant.

    In a Facebook post, the region’s military command said: “Overnight, the Russian occupiers cynically struck the residential buildings and civil infrastructure. Information about victims is being confirmed, but it is already known about dozens of dead or injured.”

    Oleksandr Starukh, Ukrainian regional governor, said the Russian missiles had levelled five residential buildings and partially destroyed a nine-storey block.

    “There may be more people under the rubble. Eight have been rescued,” he said.

    Emergency workers and firefighters cordoned off the nine-storey building and dug for casualties after a massive central section collapsed.

    The blast wrecked cars and left torn metal window frames, balconies and air conditioners dangling.

    The bombardment in Zaporizhzhia was the second against the city in three days.A barrage last Thursday claimed 19 lives.

    Residents told of their terror as the missiles slammed into the city. Kateryna Ivanova said she and her family fled into the street and met a neighbour who “screamed that her husband was dead”.

    A 10-year-old boy described how he was woken by the sound of his neighbours screaming before his mother moved him and his siblings to safety.



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