A Russian rocket strike destroyed a five-story apartment building in the southern Ukrainian town of Zaporizhzhia, killing at least three people and leaving other residents trapped under rubble, the regional governor and officials said Thursday. emergency services.
Firefighters rushed to the streets to tackle the blazes after the night’s attack, and more explosions were heard Thursday morning in what local officials said was another Russian strike.
Footage of the aftermath of Thursday’s missile strike, which took place in the early hours of the morning, showed a gaping hole strewn with rubble where a five-story terracotta-colored building stood next to a grocery store. wine.
Twelve people were injured, including a three-year-old child, and five were still under the rubble, said Zaporizhzhia region governor Oleksandr Starukh.
“Can you bring my son back to life? »
Anatoly Dzyuba was sitting on a nearby sidewalk, rocking back and forth, clutching his hands. Her 33-year-old son, Oleksandr, lives on the second floor of the building. At the time of the missile strike, his son was at home with his wife and parents, with all four presumed dead.
Dzyuba told CBC News he rushed to the building shortly after the attack, but quickly realized there was nothing left of his son’s floor.
“Can you bring my son back to life? he pleaded.
Antonina Nosach wiped tears from her eyes as she stood next to two shovels and a large plastic bin she had brought with her to help clean up. She lives 65 kilometers away in Orekhiv, but traveled to Zaporizhzhia this morning after hearing about the attack.
“It’s scary, of course, when they indiscriminately hit houses where people live,” she told CBC. “This is our home. How can we react to that?”
Emerging public criticism
There was no immediate comment from Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine began to unravel after a Ukrainian counter-offensive in which thousands of square kilometers of territory have been retaken since early September. , including dozens of settlements in recent days.
Thousands of Russian troops withdrew after the front line collapsed, first in the northeast and, since the start of this week, also in the south.
Public criticism of senior Russian military officials, once taboo, is on the rise.
A Russian-installed official in Ukraine scorned Moscow‘s generals on Thursday and suggested its defense minister should take his own life because of Ukraine’s failed conflict.
In a four-minute video message, Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-installed deputy leader of the annexed Kherson region, publicly chastised “generals and ministers” in Moscow for failing to understand the problems on the front line.
“Indeed, many say: if they were a defense minister who had authorized such a state of affairs, they could have, as officers, shot themselves,” Stremousov said. “But you know that the word ‘officer’ is an incomprehensible word for many.”
This follows criticism leveled earlier this week at the Ministry of Defense by a loyalist state television host.
“Please explain to me what is the great idea of the General Staff now?” Vladimir Solovyov, one of the most prominent Russian talk show hosts, said on his live broadcast channel.
The attack came just a day after President Vladimir Putin signed a law to incorporate four partially occupied regions, which make up around 18% of Ukraine’s territory, into Russia.
Russia moved to annex the four regions after staging what it called referendum votes that were denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive.
Ukraine denies involvement in car bomb
Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, told Reuters on Thursday that Darya Dugina had no interest in Kyiv before she was killed in an August car bomb attack near Moscow.
Podolyak’s comments came after a New York Times report said on Wednesday that US intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government approved of the attack.
Reuters could not immediately verify the Times report.
“Objectively speaking, Dugina really never interested Ukraine,” he wrote on WhatsApp in response to a request for comment from Reuters.
“Before Dugina’s murder, the Ukrainian people and representatives of the Ukrainian authorities were unaware of his public activities and his influence on propaganda programs.
“In our view, the main beneficiary of Dugina’s murder was some radical Russian supporters of the war [in Ukraine]. Including a section of the [Russian] special service.”
But the Times reported that some US officials suspected Dugina’s father, Alexander Dugin, a staunch supporter of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, was the real target of the assassination.
Some family friends told the media following the murder that they believed Dugin was the target of the attack and that the couple were to travel in the same Toyota Land Cruiser that was targeted until a change of plan was made. last minute.
In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian intelligence had always maintained that Ukraine was behind Dugina’s murder in August, so it was “positive” that the United States United seem to share this assessment.
The United States did not participate in the attack on Dugina and was unaware of it in advance, the Times reported. U.S. officials reprimanded Ukrainian officials for the assassination, the Times said.
Zelensky calls for NATO strikes
In an online address to the European Political Community’s new security and energy cooperation forum, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of deliberately targeting the same location twice in a row.
“In Zaporizhzhia, after the first rocket strike today, when people came to sort out the rubble, Russia carried out a second rocket strike. Absolute absurdity, absolute evil.”
Moscow says it does not deliberately target civilians.
In remarks to Australia’s Lowy Institute, Zelenskyy said NATO should launch preemptive strikes against Russia to prevent its use of nuclear weapons. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced the comments as “a call to start a new world war with unpredictable and monstrous consequences”, according to the RIA news agency.
front burner21:59The impact of a car bomb on a Russia at war