Published42 minutes ago
At least 23 people have died in a Russian attack on a humanitarian convoy in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, local officials say.
Another 28 people were injured in the regional capital Zaporizhzhia early on Friday. All the victims were civilians.
The people in the convoy had planned to travel to the Russian-occupied part of the region to pick up their relatives and also deliver humanitarian aid.
A Russian-installed local official blamed Ukraine for the deadly attack.
It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for a signing ceremony in Moscow to annex Zaporizhzhia along with Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson regions.
The attempted annexation follows self-styled referendums in the eastern and southern regions, which have been condemned by Ukraine and the West as a sham.
“The enemy launched a rocket attack on the outskirts of the regional centre,” Zaporizhzhia regional head Oleksandr Starukh said in a post on social media.
“People were queueing to go the temporarily occupied territory to pick up their relatives, to take away aid.”
Mr Starukh added that medics and rescue teams were working on the scene.
Meanwhile, Moscow-installed regional official Vladimir Rogov blamed “Ukrainian militants” for the attack, Russian state-run media reported.
He also said that 23 people were killed.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, and Moscow currently controls the bigger part of the Zaporizhzhia region, including Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant there – but not the regional capital.
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