17 killed in airstrike in Ukraine city of Zaporizhia

Kyiv – A senior Ukrainian city official said on Sunday that at least 17 people were killed in a Russian attack on Zaporizhia that hit an apartment building.

City Council General Secretary Anatoly Kultev said the city had been hit by rockets overnight, destroying at least five houses and damaging about 40 others. The Ukrainian military also confirmed the attack, saying dozens were killed and wounded.

Saturday’s blast caused a partial collapse of a bridge connecting Crimea with Russia, damaged a vital supply artery for the Kremlin’s faltering war effort in southern Ukraine, and threatened to weaken Russia’s power in the region. It was done after colliding with a towering symbol.

Zaporizhia has been under repeated attacks in recent weeks and lies in Ukrainian-controlled territory, an area Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed last week in violation of international law.

Part of the region, now under Russian control, is home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhia. The United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Saturday it had been repeatedly compromised by fighting and had lost its last remaining external power source as a result of renewed artillery fire.

No one has claimed responsibility for the Crimean bridge attack, but it is a major blow to Russia and could escalate the conflict. Some Russian lawmakers are urging 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.

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.

Hours after the explosion, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Air Force Chief General Sergei 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. His $3.6 billion bridge, the longest in Europe, is vital to sustaining Russia’s military operations in southern Ukraine. The 2018 bridge opening ceremony was presided over by Putin himself.

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

“It’s not a bad day today, mostly sunny in our state territory,” he said.

Zelensky said that Ukraine “wants a future without occupiers. All over our territory, especially in Crimea.”

Zelensky also said that Ukrainian forces had advanced or held fronts in the east and south, but “very difficult and very heavy fighting” around the city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian forces have claimed recent gains. ‘ admitted.

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

Rail traffic was slowly reopened. Two passenger trains left the Crimean cities of Sevastopol and Simferopol and headed for the bridge on Saturday night. Passenger ferry services between Crimea and mainland Russia resumed on Sunday.

Russia occupied areas in northern Crimea early in its invasion of Ukraine and built an overland route to Crimea along the Sea of ​​Azov, but Ukraine is pressing for a counteroffensive to reclaim its territories. Russian-held territories along its coast include the Zaporizhia region.

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.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/10/09/official-strikes-on-ukrainian-city-of-zaporizhzhia-kill-17/ 17 killed in airstrike in Ukraine city of Zaporizhia

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