Local officials said that at least 23 people have been killed and dozens injured in a Russian rocket strike on a civilian convoy in South Ukraine.
A huge crater next to a row of vehicles in Zaporizhzhia testifies to the violence of the attack, windows and windscreens were smashed in. Half a dozen bodies lying at the scene, apparently civilians, were seen by the BBC.
The BBC was also told by a survivor that her boss had been killed in the attack. In his reaction to the attack in the early hours of Friday on the outskirts of the regional capital of Zaporizhzhia, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia was a “state terrorist.”
He said that Russia launched 16 rockets at the city, and affirmed to punish of the perpetrators for “every lost Ukrainian life”
Zaporizhzhia Convoy Hit
A Russian-installed local official put the blame on Ukraine for the attack.
The convoy was hit as people were preparing to travel to the region occupied by Russia to pick their relatives up and deliver humanitarian aid.
The attack comes as Vladimir Putin is looking ahead to a signing ceremony in Moscow to annex Zaporizhzhia along with Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson regions of Ukraine.
The move follows self-styled referendums in the east and south, which have been condemned as a sham by Ukraine and the West.
Ukraine was invaded by Russia on February 24, Moscow presently has control over the majority of the Zaporizhzhia region, plus Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant there- but not the regional capital.