War in Ukraine: explosion of the Crimean bridge, bombings in Zaporijjia … what to remember from the weekend

After the explosion of the Crimean Bridge this Saturday, October 8, bombardments caused many victims in Zaporijjia. Update on the situation.

At least 13 people were killed in shelling in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia on Sunday, while 89 others were injured, including 11 children, Ukrainian officials said.

The shootings came the day after the explosion which severely damaged the Kerch bridge linking Crimea to Russia, the main supply line for Russian forces to control the occupied territories of southern Ukraine.

The incident has not yet been claimed and Russia has not named anyone guilty. The explosion, however, triggered demonstrations of joy among many Ukrainian representatives who see in this bridge a symbol of the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Rail and road traffic had partially resumed on Sunday. Russian aircraft fired at least twelve missiles at Zaporizhya. This is the second such attack on the city in three days. A nine-storey building was partially destroyed overnight, five other residential buildings were flattened and many others were damaged, Zaporizhia region governor Oleksandr Staroukh said on television.

Pure evil

At least 13 people died, 89 others were injured, of whom 60 were hospitalized. Among the injured are 11 children. Rescue operations in the nine-storey building were slowed by the appearance of a fire under the rubble, said Oleksandr Staroukh.

“We were able to save eight people quickly but when the fire breaks out, people (under the rubble) have almost no chance of survival because there is no more oxygen,” he added. Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said the “absolutely evil” attacks were carried out by “savages and terrorists” and that these people would be held responsible.

The city, located about 52 km from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has been the target of frequent bombings in recent weeks. On Thursday, 19 people were killed in an attack. On Saturday, a bombing cut off the power supply to the nuclear power plant. Parts of the Zaporizhia region, including the nuclear power plant are under Russian control while the city of Zaporizhia, the region’s capital, remains under Ukrainian control.

The White House on Sunday declined to comment on the explosion that damaged the Crimean Bridge, but said the United States would continue to arm Ukraine. “We really have nothing more to add to the information on the explosion on the bridge,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told ABC.

“Unpleasant but not catastrophic”

“The situation is manageable – it’s unpleasant, but not catastrophic,” Russian Crimean Governor Sergei Aksionov told reporters. “Of course it stirred emotion and there is a healthy desire for revenge,” he added.

The Russian Transport Ministry said freight trains and long-distance passenger trains crossing the bridge were running as scheduled on Sunday. Limited road traffic resumed on Saturday ten hours after the explosion.

According to Sergei Aksionov, Crimea has a month’s worth of fuel and more than two months’ worth of food. The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that its forces in southern Ukraine could be “fully supplied” by current land and sea links.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and the 19 km long Kerch Bridge, which connects it to the Russian transport network, was inaugurated with great fanfare four years later by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Power restored at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

The external power supply to Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant was restored on Sunday (October 9th), according to Ukraine’s national nuclear company Energoatom and the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

The plant, which is in cold shutdown, lost its last source of power early Saturday due to bombardments and had to resort to emergency diesel generators for its own needs, in particular for cooling the reactor blocks. “After almost two days of operating the emergency cooling pumps of the active areas of the reactors using energy from the diesel generators, the operational personnel have restored the normal supply regime for the plant’s own needs via the energy system of Ukraine,” Energoatom said on Telegram.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has two observers on site, confirmed that the power supply to the plant had been restored. “Our team in #Zaporijjia confirms that the off-site power line cut yesterday has been restored and #ZNPP is reconnected to the grid – temporary relief in a still untenable situation,” he wrote on Twitter, reiterating his appeal in favor of the creation of a protection zone around the plant.

Russian forces took control of the plant soon after Ukraine invaded in February, but Ukrainian personnel remained at the site. Moscow and kyiv have accused each other of shelling at this site, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

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War in Ukraine: explosion of the Crimean bridge, bombings in Zaporijjia … what to remember from the weekend

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