Salem Radio Network News Sunday, December 4, 2022

World

Russian missile strikes kill at least 23 civilians in south Ukraine – local officials

By Jonathan Landay

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (Reuters) -Missiles slammed into a car market in southern Ukraine on Friday, killing at least 23 people in a convoy of civilian vehicles and leaving bloodied bodies strewn across the ground in an attack local officials blamed on Russia.

The convoy had been assembling at the car market on the edge of the city of Zaporizhzhia, preparing to leave Ukrainian territory to visit relatives and deliver supplies in an area controlled by Russia, witnesses and Ukrainian officials said.

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

One body leaned from the driver’s seat into the passenger seat of a yellow car, the left hand still clutching the steering wheel.

“So far, 23 dead and 28 wounded. All civilians,” Oleksandr Starukh, the Zaporizhzhia regional governor, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“The occupiers struck defenceless Ukrainians. This is another terrorist attack by a terrorist country.”

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

“The people who were hit were mostly in their cars or next to them. There were other strikes, more than 10. You will be informed about them later,” he told reporters on the scene.

Ujryumov told Reuters that the Russian military “know that columns are formed here to go to the occupied territories. They had the coordinates.

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

Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, has denied deliberately attacking civilians.

Vladimir Rogov, an official in the Russian-installed administration in the Zaporizhzhia region, blamed the attack on Ukrainian forces.

“23 people killed … in Ukrainian strike on convoy of cars at exit to liberated part of Zaporizhzhia region,” he wrote on Telegram.

CORPSES ON THE GROUND

The vehicles were packed with the occupants’ belongings, blankets and suitcases.

Plastic sheets were draped over the bodies of a woman and young man in a green car. A dead cat lay next to the young man in the rear seat.

Two bodies lay in a white mini-van in front of another car, its windows blown out and the sides pitted with shrapnel.

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

A woman who gave her name as Nataliya said she and her husband had been visiting their children in Zaporizhzhia.

“We were returning to my mother who is 90 years old. We have been spared. It’s a miracle,” she said, standing with her husband beside their car.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; additional reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Timothy Heritage, William Maclean)

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