Dozens killed or injured in Russian missile strike in Ukraine, Kyiv says

  • Missile strike kills at least 25 – Ukrainian officials
  • Dead were civilians planning to enter Russian-controlled area
  • Attacks involved at least three missiles, police say

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine, September 30 (Reuters) – Dozens of civilians were killed or injured in what Kyiv called a cynical Russian missile fire at a convoy of civilian cars in southern Ukraine on Friday, leaving bodies strewn On the ground.

The convoy had gathered at a car market on the outskirts of the city of Zaporizhzhia, preparing to leave Kyiv-controlled Ukrainian territory to visit relatives and deliver supplies in a Russian-occupied area, officials said. responsible.

Car windows were blown out by the impact of the missile and their sides were shattered by shrapnel, a Reuters witness said.

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A body was leaning from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat of a yellow car, the left hand still gripping the steering wheel.

“The enemy is raging and seeking revenge for our steadfastness and failures. He is cynically destroying peaceful Ukrainians because he lost everything human long ago,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Bloodthirsty scum!” You will definitely respond. For every Ukrainian life lost!

Oleksandr Starukh, the governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, gave the initial toll of 23 killed and 28 injured in the attack, carried out hours before President Vladimir Putin was to proclaim Russian rule over Zaporizhzhia and three other provinces where Moscow has seized territory since invading Ukraine.

Andriy Yermak, head of Zelenskiy’s office, later said 25 people were killed and 50 injured in what he called an attack by a “terrorist state”.

Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians. Vladimir Rogov, an official in the administration installed by Russia in the Zaporizhzhia region, blamed the attack on Ukrainian forces.

Police Colonel Sergey Ujryumov, head of the Zaporizhzhia police department’s explosive ordnance disposal unit, said the car market was hit by three S300 missiles.

Ujryumov told Reuters that the Russian army “knows that columns are formed here to go to the occupied territories. They had the coordinates.”

“It’s not a chance strike. It’s perfectly deliberate,” he said.


The vehicles were filled with the occupants’ personal effects, blankets and suitcases. Plastic sheets were draped over the bodies of a woman and a young man in a green car. A dead cat lay next to the young man in the back seat.

Two bodies lay in a white minivan in front of another car, its windows blown out and the sides pitted by shrapnel.

The corpse of an elderly woman lay nearby, her shopping bag beside her.

Another woman, named Nataliya, said she and her husband visited their children in Zaporizhzhia.

“We were going back to my mother who is 90. We were spared. It’s a miracle,” she said, standing with her husband beside their car.

Nikola Rusak, a 62-year-old delivery driver from the southern province of Kherson, survived the attack unharmed as he slept in his van, parked about 20 meters (yards) from a row of auto parts stores who were hit by a missile.

“I couldn’t understand what was going on,” he said. “I came out and saw people running. I was in a daze. I was there, frozen. I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

Rusak said he had been sleeping in the vehicle for five days after dropping off relatives in Zaporizhizia, waiting for a phone call telling him to join the convoy for the return trip to care for his elderly mother.

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Reporting by Jonathan Landay Additional reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic Editing by Timothy Heritage, William Maclean and Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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