December 9, 2023

On this picture supplied by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, rescuers work on the scene of a constructing broken by shelling in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022. (Ukrainian Emergency Service by way of AP)

(The Hill) – Russian strikes within the metropolis of Zaporizhzhia killed not less than 17 folks and broken dozens of buildings on Saturday evening, in response to Ukrainian officers.

Anatoliy Kurtev, secretary of Zaporizhzhia’s metropolis council, wrote on Telegram that 40 folks have been injured by the blasts, which he stated additionally broken 50 high-rise buildings, 4 instructional establishments and 20 different private-sector buildings. 

“We urge residents to chorus from staying and visiting locations the place emergency and rescue operations are ongoing, as a result of there’s a menace to the life and well being of the civilian inhabitants,” Kurtev wrote, additionally calling Russia a “terrorist nation.”

Zaporizhzhia stays beneath Ukrainian management however is positioned in a area Russia annexed earlier this month with three different areas in Ukraine’s east and south.

The town has confronted Russian strikes in current days, together with one on Monday when Russia fired S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the metropolis and two close by villages. That strike demolished a rehabilitation middle for kids with particular wants.

“One other Russian missile strike on town of Zaporizhzhia,” the Ukrainian Protection Ministry wrote on Twitter. “17 civilians have been killed. If #UAarmy had trendy Western anti-missile methods, we may have prevented such tragedies.”

The shelling follows an explosion on Saturday on the Kerch Strait bridge, a key provide route that hyperlinks Crimea and Russia.

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The 12-mile bridge additionally holds symbolic significance. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced plans to assemble the road-and-rail bridge quickly after he annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and Putin himself personally inaugurated the bridge when it opened in 2018. 

The bridge is extensively disliked by Ukrainians, who view it as an emblem of the Russian occupation. 

The explosion was the most recent setback for Putin in areas he claims to regulate. 

Ukrainian forces have taken different small cities within the 4 areas he annexed, including to steep territorial features the Ukrainians just lately gained in a counteroffensive that primarily centered on the nation’s east however has since prolonged to the south.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly handle vowed to retake all Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia, saying it’s “the most suitable choice” for Russian forces to flee “whereas they’ve the possibility.”

“This can be a future with out occupiers,” Zelensky stated. “All through our territory, particularly in Crimea.”