Ukrainian officials said 13 people were killed and dozens wounded in a missile attack on the city of Zaporizhia

  • Shelling at the level of five residential buildings during the night
  • A nine-storey building partially destroyed
  • People trapped under the rubble, rescue operations are underway
  • Zelensky calls the strikes ‘ruthless’

Kyiv (Reuters) – A Russian missile attack early Sunday targeted an apartment building and other apartment buildings in the southeastern city of Zaporizhia, Ukrainian officials said, killing at least 13 people and wounding 87 others, including 10 children.

The pre-dawn shell was the second of its kind against the city in three days. It came a day after an explosion hit a Russian land and rail bridge linking Crimea, a major supply line for Russian forces fighting for territory around the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.

Russian planes fired at least 12 missiles at Zaporizhia in the last strike, partially destroying a nine-storey apartment building, flattening five other apartment buildings and damaging many, said Oleksandr Staruch, governor of the Zaporozhye region.

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“Twelve missiles came, all from planes,” he said on state television.

District officials said at least 13 people were killed and 87 injured, of whom 60 were hospitalized. Among the wounded were 10 children.

Staruch said the rescue operation at the nine-storey building was complicated by a fire that broke out under the rubble.

“We quickly got people out and saved eight people already, but when the fire broke out, the people (under the rubble) had no chance of surviving because there was no oxygen,” he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack as “absolute evil” by people he described as “savages and terrorists”, and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

The city of Zaporizhia, located about 52 km from a Russian-controlled nuclear power plant, has been repeatedly bombed in recent weeks, killing 19 people on Thursday.

“Zaporizhzhia again. Severe blows to peaceful people again. In apartment buildings, only in the middle of the night,” Zelensky said in the Telegram messaging application.

Emergency workers and firefighters surrounded the nine-storey building and dug for survivors and wounded in the charred rubble of a huge central section that collapsed.

The blast destroyed cars and ruptured metal window frames, balconies and air conditioners from the shrapnel-strewn facade of the building.

Rescue workers carried the bodies of the dead residents through a window and placed them on the floor under blankets and in body bags.

Most of the Zaporizhzhya region, including the nuclear plant, has been under Russian control since the early days of the Russian invasion. The capital of the region, the city of Zaporizhzhia, is still under Ukrainian control.

Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and human rights organizations have accused Russia of committing war crimes since its massive invasion began in February, saying attacks on civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, have killed and injured thousands of people.

Moscow denies deliberately attacking civilians during what it calls a “special military operation” to disarm its neighbor.

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(Covering) By Sergei Chali in Zaporizhia and Max Hander in Kyiv Writing by Jonathan Landay in Kyiv Editing by Francis Kerry

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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