KYIV – A Russian rocket strike destroyed a five-storey apartment block in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, killing at least one woman and leaving other residents trapped under rubble, the regional governor said on Thursday.
Firefighters rushed through the streets to tackle the blazes after the overnight attack, and more explosions were heard on Thursday morning in what local officials said was a renewed Russian strike.
“Another enemy missile attack. Stay in shelters!” Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, told residents on the Telegram messaging app.
He later told Ukrainian television that one woman was killed in the overnight shelling, but said another woman who was earlier reported dead had survived.
Twelve people were wounded, including a three-year-old child. Five were still under the rubble, he added.
Photographs released by Ukrainian emergency services showed huge piles of rubble where residential buildings had been hit.
The missile strikes underlined Moscow’s ability to strike Ukrainian cities despite recent Russian setbacks in the war.
Russia did not immediately comment on the events in Zaporizhzhia, which is under the control of Ukrainian forces.
Moscow has denied deliberately targeting civilians in its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Zaporizhzhia is one of the four Ukrainian regions annexed by Russia. Ukraine says it will never accept an illegal seizure of its territory by force. Kyiv and the West said the referendums were rigged votes held at gunpoint.
President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian state to seize control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, Europe’s biggest, which is still run by Ukrainian engineers despite being captured early in the war by Russian forces.
The power station is close to the front line, on a Russian-controlled bank of a reservoir with Ukrainian forces on the opposite bank.
Both sides have warned of the danger of a potential nuclear disaster if the plant is hit. REUTERS