NEWS: Ukraine
Rockets hit a humanitarian aid convoy in Zaporizhia killing dozens

At least 23 peo­ple have been killed and dozens injured after Russ­ian rock­ets hit a human­i­tar­i­an con­voy in south­ern Ukraine, local offi­cials have reported.

In the city of Zapor­izhia, a large crater formed next to a line of cars, demon­strat­ing the inten­si­ty of the attack. Win­dows and wind­shields were broken.

The BBC saw half a dozen bod­ies lying at the scene, appar­ent­ly civil­ians. Lug­gage and coats are strewn across the runway.

Local offi­cials based in Rus­sia have blamed Ukraine for Fri­day’s attacks.

The con­voy was attacked in the ear­ly hours of Fri­day as it pre­pared to head to the Russ­ian-occu­pied ter­ri­to­ry to pick up rel­a­tives and deliv­er human­i­tar­i­an aid.

“Zapor­izhia Oblast Gov­er­nor Olek­san­dr Stark said in a social media post that it was ‘anoth­er act of ter­ror­ism’ by Russia.

The BBC spoke to Kate­ri­na Horovorod near the point of impact of the mis­sile. She sat on her suit­case and was in shock.

We arrived in line to join the con­voy to Kel­son,” she said.

She went out to check the “queue num­ber”. Then the first rock­et land­ed behind the wagon.

“I threw myself.” Then, in the mid­dle of the pro­ces­sion, the sec­ond one hit. There was glass every­where, peo­ple were scream­ing and run­ning. I don’t remem­ber much.

“I was so scared, and when I saw what was hap­pen­ing, I stood up to help the wound­ed. When the third explo­sion hap­pened, I tried to help the wound­ed young man.

Ukraine said the attack was “anoth­er ter­ror­ist act” by Rus­sia.
The attack came as Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin was prepar­ing in Moscow for a sign­ing cer­e­mo­ny to annex Zapor­izhia along with the Ukrain­ian provinces of Donet­sk, Luhan­sk and Kelson.

The move fol­lows self-pro­claimed ref­er­en­dums in the east and south that have been denounced as farce by Ukraine and the West.

Rus­sia invad­ed Ukraine on Feb­ru­ary 24 and Moscow now con­trols most of the Zapor­izhia region, includ­ing Europe’s largest nuclear pow­er plant, but not the capital.

Russ­ian state media report­ed that Vladimir Rogov, a Moscow-based local gov­ern­ment offi­cial, blamed “Ukrain­ian extrem­ists” for the attack in Zaporizhia.

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