Missiles blasted into a car market in southern Ukraine on Friday, killing at least 23 people in a convoy of civilian automobiles and scattering bloodied bodies across the ground in an attack claimed by Russia, according to local officials.
Witnesses and Ukrainian officials said the convoy had been assembling at a vehicle market on the outskirts of Zaporizhzhia, preparing to leave Ukrainian territory to see family and distribute goods in an area controlled by Russia.
The power of the missile attack blew out car windows and poured shrapnel down the sides, according to a witness. One body leaned from the driver’s seat into the passenger seat of a yellow automobile, grasping the steering wheel with the left hand. “There have been 23 deaths and 28 injuries thus far.” “All civilians,” Zaporizhzhia regional governor Oleksandr Starukh posted on the Telegram messaging app.
Police Colonel Sergey Ujryumov, chief of the Zaporizhzhia police department’s explosive disposal squad, said three S300 missiles hit the market. “The people who were hit were largely in or near their cars. There were more than ten other strikes. “You will be notified later,” he told reporters on the scene.
According to Ujryumov, the Russian military “knows that columns are being created here to move to the occupied lands.” They were aware of the coordinates. “This is not a coincidence.” “It’s completely purposeful,” he explained. Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24, has denied striking civilians on purpose.
Vladimir Rogov, a member of the region’s Russian-installed administration, blamed the strike on Ukrainian soldiers. “23 murdered… in a Ukrainian strike on an auto convoy at departure to the liberated area of the Zaporizhzhia region,” he posted on Telegram. The residents’ belongings, blankets, and bags were piled into the trucks.
A woman and a young man in a green automobile had plastic covers placed over their bodies. In the back seat, a dead cat lay next to the young man. Two dead lay in front of another automobile in a white minivan, its windows blown out and the sides battered with shrapnel. An elderly woman’s body lay close, her grocery bag next to her.
Nataliya, a woman, said she and her husband had been visiting their children in Zaporizhzhia. “We were returning to my 90-year-old mother.” We’ve been saved. “It’s a miracle,” she exclaimed, standing beside their car with her husband.
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