Ukraine War: Russia Kills 17 Civilians In Missile Strikes In Southern Ukraine, Dozens Killed This Week

At least 66 people have been killed in Russian strikes in last 10 days in southern Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia. It's one of the four regions of Ukraine annexed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Russian strike on an apartment building in Ukraine

In the latest round of Russian strikes on civilians, at least 17 people were killed and dozens were wounded in southern Ukraine.

The Russian strikes came on the same day as an explosion on a bridge connecting occupied Criema with Russia. Three people died in the Crimea bridge blast.

Russia struck apartments and other civilian infrastructure in Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia on Saturday. These are only the latest round of Russian strikes in Zaporizhzhia. Earlier on September 30, Russia struck a humanitarian convey, killing at least 30 and wounding at least 88 people. 

The latest round of strikes come after an explosion on Kerch Bridge collapsed it partially and engulfed it in a ball of fire. Three civilians were also killed in the explosion. The bridge is key to sustaining Ukraine War as it connects Russia with occupied Crimea. 

What we know of Crimea bridge blast

The Kerch Bridge attack damaged an important supply route for the Kremlin's faltering war effort in southern Ukraine, an artery that also is a towering symbol of Russia's power in the region. 

It's a 12-mile long bridge, the longest in Europe. It was opened to public by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Crimea was invaded and annexed by Putin in 2014. 

The Speaker of the Russian-backed regional parliament in Crimea accused Ukraine, but Moscow didn’t apportion blame. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly threatened to strike the bridge, and some lauded the destruction on Saturday. But Kyiv stopped short of claiming responsibility.

Russian authorities have described the explosion as a truck bomb blast. However, independent experts have highlighted that the nature of the blasts suggests the blast could have taken underneath the bridge and the impact could have been directed upward. A boat or an underwater torpedo have been said to be potential carriers of explosives.

Tony Spamer, a former British Army expert on bridge demolitions, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying that "a truck bomb would have cre­ated a hole in the mid­dle of bridge but wouldn’t have been suf­fi­cient to cut the re­in­forc­ing bar and cause the struc­ture to col­lapse". 

"You’ve got to at­tack the whole width of the bridge. Look­ing at it, it looks like it was at­tacked from un­der­neath. It’s a mon­ster job," said Spamer.

20 Ukrainian homes, 50 apartment buildings hit by Russians

At least 17 people have been killed and at least 40 have been hospitalised by Russian missile strikes in Zaporizhzhia city. 

Zaporizhzhia city is held by Ukraine but it is close to Russian-held territories. Zaporizhzhia is situated in the province of the same name in southern Ukraine. It is one of the four occupied- and partially-occupied regions of Ukraine annexed by Putin.  

The blasts blew out windows in adjacent buildings and left at least one high-rise apartment building partially collapsed. At least 20 private homes and 50 apartment buildings were damaged.

In recent weeks, Russia has repeatedly struck Zaporizhzhia. At least 19 people died in Russian missile strikes on apartment buildings in the city on Thursday. 

"Again, Zaporizhzhia. Again, merciless attacks on civilians, targeting residential buildings, in the middle of the night. Absolute meanness. Absolute evil. From the one who gave this order, to everyone who carried out this order: they will answer. They must. Before the law and the people, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a Telegram post.

Crimea bridge blast a humiliation to Putin

The Saturday's explosion on the Crimea bridge was a significant blow to Russia. No one has claimed responsibility for damaging the bridge. 

Putin signed a decree late Saturday tightening security for the bridge and for energy infrastructure between Crimea and Russia, and put Russia's federal security service, the FSB, in charge of the effort. 

Some Russian lawmakers called for Putin to declare a “counterterrorism operation,” rather than the term “special military operation” that has downplayed the scope of fighting to ordinary Russians.

The 19-kilometer (12-mile) Kerch Bridge, on a strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, is a symbol of Moscow's claims on Crimea and an essential link to the peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. 

The $3.6 billion bridge, the longest in Europe, is vital to sustaining Russia's military operations in southern Ukraine. Putin himself presided over the bridge's opening in May 2018.

Latest developments in Ukraine War

Ukrainian forces have continued with their counter-offensive in Eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine continues with its offensive in the direction of Svatove and Kreminna as of Saturday, according to Russian sources cited by The Institute of the Study of War (ISW). Besides these two places, major fighting is currently ongoing in Bakhmut, Avdiivka, close to Marinka, Spirne, and Klynove. 

The Associated Press reported that Russians have made gains around Bakhmut and ISW reported Russian sources as saying that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian assaults southeast of Kupyansk.


(With AP inputs)