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Russian strike kills at least 17 people in Ukraine after bridge attack

Russian barrages hit apartment buildings and other targets. Ukrainian At least 17 people were killed and dozens injured in Zaporizhia city, officials said on Sunday.

An explosion in the city, located in an area controlled by Ukraine but claimed to be owned by Moscow, blew out windows in adjacent buildings and partially collapsed at least one high-rise apartment building.

Multiple strikes followed Saturday’s explosions Partial collapse of bridge connecting Crimea with Russia. The Kerch Bridge attack has damaged a vital supply route for the Kremlin’s faltering war effort in southern Ukraine. The route is also a towering symbol of Russian power in the region.

The bombing happened the day after the Russian president Vladimir Putin According to CBS News’ Charlie D’Agata, Putin turned 70 when he delivered a humiliating blow that one military analyst called a punch in the face on Putin’s birthday.

Rockets that hit Zaporizhia overnight damaged at least 20 private homes and 50 apartment buildings, said city council secretary Anatoly Kultev. At least 40 people have been hospitalized, Kurtev told his Telegram.

The Ukrainian military confirmed the attack and said dozens were killed.

Residential areas badly damaged by Russian missile attack in Zaporizhia
Rescuers work at the site of a residential area heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike during the Russian attack on Ukraine on October 9, 2022 in Zaporizhia, Ukraine.

Stringer / Reuters

Residents gathered behind police tape by a building that had collapsed several floors in the blast, leaving a smoldering chasm at least 40 feet wide where an apartment building once stood.

Tetyana Lazun’ko, 73, and her husband Oleksii took refuge in the hallway of their top-floor apartment after hearing sirens warning of an attack. They escaped the worst of the blasts that plunged them into fear and disbelief.

“There was an explosion. Everything was shaking,” Razunko said. “Everything was flying and I was screaming.”

Shards of glass, entire window and door frames, and other debris covered the floor outside the apartment I had lived in since 1974. Razunko wept bitterly, wondering why their home, in an area where no military infrastructure was visible, had been targeted.

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

Sitting quietly on a wooden cane, Oleksi suffered three strokes, Razunko said. Breaking the silence, he said slowly.

In recent weeks, Russia has repeatedly attacked Zaporizhia, the capital of the region of the same name that Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed last week in violation of international law. at least 19 dead A Russian missile strike hit an apartment in the city on Thursday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a Telegram post: “Again, Zaporizhia. Again, ruthless attacks on civilians, midnight attacks on homes.”

“Absolute meanness. Absolute evil. …From those who gave this order to all who carried out this order: They will answer. They must. Before the law and the people. ” he added.

Russia targeted Zaporizhia before Saturday’s explosion at the Crimean bridge, a major blow to Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Putin late Saturday signed a decree to strengthen the security of bridges and energy infrastructure between Crimea and Russia, leaving Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, with that effort.

Some Russian lawmakers urged Putin to declare a “counter-terrorist operation” rather than the term “special military operation,” which has downplayed the scope of the fighting against ordinary Russians.

Hours after the explosion, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Air Force Chief General Sergey Slovikin will command all Russian forces in Ukraine. Slovikin, who took charge of troops in southern Ukraine this summer, was accused of leading Russian forces in Syria and overseeing the bombing that destroyed much of Aleppo.

The 19-kilometer (12-mile) Kerch Bridge, which spans the strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov, is a symbol of Moscow’s claim to Crimea and a vital link to the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The $3.6 billion bridge, Europe’s longest, is vital to sustaining Russia’s military operations in southern Ukraine. In May 2018, Putin himself presided over the bridge’s opening ceremony.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky indirectly acknowledged the bridge attack in a video speech, but did not mention its cause.

“Today was not a bad day, it was mostly sunny in our state territory,” he said.

Zelensky said Ukraine “wants a future without occupiers. It wants our entire territory, especially Crimea.”

Zelensky also said that Ukrainian forces had advanced or maintained fronts in the east and south, but that the “very difficult and very difficult A tough battle,” he admitted.

Train and car traffic across the bridge was temporarily suspended. According to Russian-backed Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov, on Saturday afternoon motor vehicle traffic was reopened at one of his two rinks that remained intact.

Russia’s Ministry of Transport said on Telegram on Sunday that passenger train traffic between Crimea and mainland Russia had resumed overnight “as planned”.

In a separate Telegram post on Sunday, the ministry said car ferries were also operating between Crimea and the mainland, with the first crossing taking place just before 2am local time (11pm GMT).

Russia occupied territories in northern Crimea early in its invasion of Ukraine and built a land corridor to Crimea along the Sea of ​​Azov, but Ukraine will regain its territories and four territories that Putin illegally annexed this month. We are pressing for a counterattack.

Russia has stepped up its attacks on the city of Zaporizhia since it officially absorbed the surrounding area on September 29.

The local governor of Zaporizhia reported that the death toll rose to 32 after a Russian missile attack on a civilian convoy leaving the city on September 30. In a Telegram post, Oleksandr Stalf reported one more of his deaths in hospital on Friday. .

Part of the Zaporizhia region, now under Russian control, is home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Fighting has repeatedly endangered the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, with Ukrainian authorities shutting down the last working reactor last month to prevent a radiation disaster.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, said on Saturday that the Zaporizhia plant had lost its last remaining off-site power source as a result of renewed shelling and was now dependent on an emergency diesel generator.

Crimea is a popular destination for Russian tourists and is home to a Russian naval base. The Russian Tourist Association estimates that 50,000 tourists were in Crimea on Saturday.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-zaporizhzhia-airstrike-today-russia-kerch-bridge-bridge-attack-2022-10-09/ Russian strike kills at least 17 people in Ukraine after bridge attack

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