Images demonstrate how, in the early hours of Friday, a single missile fell not far from a line of vehicles parked at a checkpoint as they were leaving the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia towards the adjoining Russian-occupied region, shredding the vehicles with shrapnel.
Oleksandr Starukh, the regional governor of Zaporizhzhia, said that the attack left at least 23 civilians dead and another 28 injured. He said that they were their route to provide relief to those living under Russian rule and to work to free their family.
President Zelensky’s top advisor, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said that a total of 16 S-300 anti-aircraft missiles had been launched by Russia towards Ukrainian territory, four of which had landed and destroyed the line of automobiles as well as a neighboring auto market.
The incident happened just a few hours before Vladimir Putin announced that Zaporizhzhia, along with the Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson areas, were being annexed to Russia on the pretense of defending them.
Additionally, it occurred as Putin’s propagandists emphasized on state television that Russia’s nuclear arsenal is fully operational after the dictator’s threat to use it to protect the “new territories.”
Military analyst Col. Mikhail Khodarenok said on Rossiya 1 TV: “We promise that our nuclear missile shield has not deteriorated, is in full operational condition, and is ready for prompt action.”
The “Iron Doll” of Putin, presenter Olga Skabeyeva, said, “In other words, the good news by the end of 2022 is that we are certain to destroy [the West].”
Photos from Zaporizhzhia showed survivors sifting through the debris as they passed by at least two victims lying on the ground and a road filled with blown-out automobiles.
Four of the twelve corpses that a witness saw were in automobiles. The witness also said that a missile had created a crater on the ground next to two rows of cars at a car market.
The collision had hurled dirt into the air and shot shrapnel at the automobiles. The majority of the automobiles and three vans had their windows blasted out.
The cars were crammed with luggage, blankets, and personal items.
In one of them, a man’s torso was positioned with his left hand still gripping the steering wheel, leaning from the driver’s seat into the passenger one.
The enemy conducted a rocket strike on a humanitarian convoy carrying civilians as it left the regional capital, according to Oleksandr Starukh, the governor of Zaporizhzhia, who posted the following on Telegram.
People waited in line to get to the temporarily seized region, pick up their loved ones, or transport help.
Rescuers, medical personnel, and other pertinent services are now on the scene.
The corpses of a lady and a young guy in the green automobile in front of them were covered in plastic sheets. The young guy in the back seat was sitting close to a dead cat.
In front of that automobile, a white minivan with two corpses inside lay with its windows shot out and its sides pocked with shrapnel.
A lady who provided her name as Nataliya said that she and her husband had travelled to Zaporizhzhia to see their children.
We were going back to see my 90-year-old mother. We have escaped harm. Standing next to their automobile with her husband, she said, “It’s a miracle.”
Russia said Ukraine was to blame for the hit, and denied any involvement.
It was released in advance of Putin’s significant address in the Kremlin today, in which he will formally declare his plan to annexe the seized parts of Ukraine to Russia.
In the last several days, referendums on the matter have been held by Russian-backed proxy administrations in the four areas of Ukraine that Russian soldiers at least partly occupy: Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
They assert that the vote, which was taken under duress, revealed resounding majorities in favor of joining the “motherland.”
The move still signals a turning point in the conflict, despite the fact that Ukraine and its supporters have called the elections a fraud and said they would never recognize the results.
Putin will now be able to claim, at least to his own people, that Ukrainian attempts to free these areas constitute an assault on Russia.
That would enable him to intensify the conflict in retaliation, maybe even using nuclear weapons if the populace bought into the narrative.
In a speech last week, Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons, and since then, his friends, notably Dmitry Medvedev, the chairman of the security council, have repeated the warning several times.
As a prelude to his insane plan to illegitimately annex 15% of Ukrainian land to the Russian Federation, Kremlin tyrant Vladimir Putin issued decrees last night recognizing Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south and east of the nation as separate entities.
Putin and his successors are prohibited from relinquishing any territory after it has been obtained by a change to the Russian constitution made in 2020, thus once the annexation is complete today, it will be irrevocable until Ukraine is able to effectively reclaim the stolen area. It will be hard to remove even a small amount as part of a future peace agreement with Kiev.
Putin will preside over a treaty-signing ceremony today in St. George’s Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, where marble plaques with gold engravings honor Russian military heroes. The ceremony will announce the annexation of four regions of Ukraine, including the breakaway People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
Following the annexation by Russia, celebrations are scheduled for both the seized regions as well as in Moscow’s Red Square, where Putin is anticipated to give a speech outlining why he believes Ukraine has no right to exist independently.
The staged election was held in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk after a phony five-day vote that was completely manipulated in favor of joining Putin’s Russia. Majorities of up to 99% in favor of joining were reportedly reported by Moscow’s proxies in the seized territories. However, the governments of Ukraine and the West referred to those elections as fraudulent, illegal, and held under duress.
The action is anticipated to be approved by the Duma, the fake parliament of Russia, next week. It is an exact replica of how Moscow behaved in 2014 when it used a phony Crimean referendum as a cover to invade and seize the Ukrainian peninsula.
Putin faces danger as a result of the annexation. Ukraine took the lead this month by defeating Russian soldiers in the northern Kharkiv area after months of grueling, attritional combat.
Putin also enacted a controversial partial mobilization last week, which caused thousands of men of fighting age to leave the nation. Even ardent Kremlin loyalists have expressed displeasure with the call-disorganized up’s character, and yesterday, Putin himself said that “all faults must be addressed.”
With a threat of a “severe” reaction, Kiev said that the annexation votes would not deter its military troops from attempting to reclaim its forcibly taken area. Russia promises to defend all of its territory, including recently seized areas, using all tools at its disposal, including nuclear weapons.
Supporters of Ukraine in the West have referred to the staged referendums on whether to submit to Russian administration as a blatant “land grab” based on fabrications.
They claim that during an election without impartial observers in a region from where thousands of residents have fled or been forcefully deported, some people were forced to vote under threat of violence.»Russian rockets murder people in a Zaporizhzhia ‘humanitarian caravan’«