Zaporizhia: Block of flats razed, 17 people killed “in revenge”.

Caption: 17 dead in attack on apartment block in Zaporizhia Source: AP/Reuters

Dozens dead and injured after airstrike on apartment block in Zaporizhia (Image: AP/Reuters)

At least 17 people have been killed in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia after their apartment block was shelled by Russians overnight, a city official has confirmed.

The attacks appear to be part of a revenge attack by the Kremlin after a massive explosion destroyed part of the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to occupied Crimea.

“Overnight, the Russian occupiers cynically attacked the city’s residential buildings and civilian infrastructure,” Ukraine’s Central Command reported on Facebook.

“Information on victims is still being confirmed, but dozens of dead or injured are already known.”

In addition to the 17 fatalities, at least 49 people, including six children, were also reportedly injured in the blast, which demolished five homes and partially destroyed a nine-story building.

“There may be more people under the rubble,” regional governor Oleksandr Starukh said on Telegram.

“A rescue operation is underway at the crime scene. Eight people have already been rescued.”


Children were among the injured (Picture: Getty)

People stand in front of a building that was badly damaged after a Russian attack in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, Sunday October 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

The Ukrainian-held town has been heavily shelled since the conflict began (Image: AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the hit “absolutely evil”.

“Again Zaporizhia. Again merciless beatings on peaceful people,” the President wrote on Telegram.

“In apartment buildings, in the middle of the night. Absolute meanness. Absolute evil. Savages and terrorists.’

“From the one who gave this order to all who carried out this order. You will be responsible. Certainly. Before the law and before the people,” he added.

Zaporizhia has been hit particularly hard by the Russians since the start of the conflict, when the occupiers seized control of the nearby nuclear power plant and reportedly used it as a base for their troops in the region.

The region is one of four territories “annexed” by Moscow in recent weeks, although the city remains under Ukrainian control.

Concern of a Chernobyl-style nuclear disaster if one of the reactors is hit by an artillery attack has been an ongoing concern since the beginning of the war.

Black smoke rises from a fire on the Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea to Russia, after a truck exploded near Kerch on October 8, 2022. - Moscow announced on Oct. 8, 2022 that a truck exploded, igniting a huge fire and damaging the key to the Kerch Bridge — built as Russia's only land link with annexed Crimea — and vowing to find the culprits without immediately telling Ukraine the to blame. (Photo by AFP) / CROPPED VERSION (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The strikes are believed to be a “revenge” strike by the Russians after an explosion hit the Kerch Bridge in Crimea this week (Image: Getty)

Earlier this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency said the Zaporizhzhia plant has since lost its last remaining external power source due to renewed shelling and is now relying on backup diesel generators.

Putin was furious after the Kerch Bridge exploded in a mysterious fireball, killing three people and damaging a vital supply chain.

The shock blast set the railway line on fire and blew away part of a road bridge, which plunged into the depths of the Black Sea.

Though Ukraine is yet to officially borrow, they were quick to celebrate the blast and dropped hints of a strike on the bridge for weeks.

It was a major blow to Russia’s war effort and a symbolic victory for Ukraine, raising concerns that the shelling of Zaporizhia may have been part of a revenge attack.

“Of course, emotions have been stirred and there is a healthy desire to retaliate,” Russia’s Crimea governor Sergei Aksyonov said after the attack, which Kremlin officials had previously warned would trigger “judgment day.” could.

The UK Ministry of Defense has warned that the Crimean bridge blast “will most likely have a significant impact on Russia’s already strained ability to maintain its forces in southern Ukraine”.

The Defense Ministry said: “The extent of the damage to the level crossing is uncertain, but any serious disruption to its capacity will most likely have a significant impact on Russia’s already strained ability to maintain its forces in southern Ukraine.

“The level crossing only opened to freight traffic in June 2020, but the line played a key role in transporting heavy military vehicles to the Southern Front during the invasion.

“This incident is likely to touch President Putin deeply; It was hours after his 70th birthday, he personally sponsored and opened the bridge, and its contractor was his childhood friend Arkady Rotenberg.

“In recent months, Putin’s former bodyguard, now commander of the Russian National Guard, Viktor Zolatov, has publicly assured the safety of the bridge.”

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Justin Scacco

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