by Jonathan Landay
ZAPORIJJIA, Ukraine (Reuters) – At least 30 people were killed and nearly 100 others injured on Friday when a Russian missile fired at a convoy of civilian vehicles on the outskirts of Zaporizhya in southern Ukraine, the governor said regional.
A Reuters reporter on the spot saw corpses lying on the ground or in vehicles at the large car market in Orekhovo. A missile left a crater in the ground near two lines of vehicles.
“The enemy is enraged and seeks revenge for our determination and failures. He is cynically destroying peaceful Ukrainians because he lost all humanity long ago,” President Volodimir Zelensky wrote on the app. Telegram messaging.
Andriy Yermak, chief of staff of Volodimir Zelensky, denounced the attack as a “terrorist state”.
The head of the Zaporizhia police demining unit, Colonel Sergey Uzhryumova, told Reuters the target was hit by three S300 missiles.
In the midst of clouds of dust, one could distinguish vehicles, mainly cars and three vans, damaged by shrapnel and broken windows. They were filled with suitcases, blankets and other belongings belonging to their occupants.
In a yellow car, a corpse could be seen sitting in the driver’s seat, leaning towards the passenger seat, his left hand still clinging to the steering wheel.
In the green car just ahead, the bodies of a woman and a young man were wrapped in plastic. A dead cat lay near the young man’s corpse in the back.
Still ahead, two corpses lay in a small white van with shattered windows and sides strewn with missile shrapnel.
A woman calling herself Nataliya said she had come to visit her children with her husband in Zaporizhia.
“We are going back to my mother who is 90. We were spared. It’s a miracle,” she said, standing by her car with her husband.
Russia, which invaded Ukraine in what it calls a “special military operation”, denies deliberately targeting civilians. His offensive nevertheless destroyed, at least partially, many towns and villages.
Vladimir Rogov, an official in the administration installed by Russia in the Zaporizhia region, blamed the attack on Ukrainian forces.
(Report Jonathan Landay, with Aleksandar Vasovic, French version Bertrand Boucey, Alizée Degorce, edited by Matthieu Protard and Kate Entringer)