1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Zelenskyy condemns 'absolute evil' attack on Zaporizhzhia

October 9, 2022

A Russian missile strike has damaged residential buildings and killed at least 12 people in Zaporizhzhia. Meanwhile, Russian divers will examine the extent of damage of the Crimean bridge blast. Follow DW for the latest.

A view shows a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine October 9, 2022.
The Russian missile strike on Zaporizhzhia followed an explosion at the key Crimea bridgeImage: STR/REUTERS

A Russian missile strike in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia has killed at least 12 people, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday.

Describing the night of shelling as "absolute evil," Zelenskyy said 49 people, including six children, were in the hospital.

A local official had earlier put the death toll at a slightly higher figure, citing 17 deaths. The official, city council secretary Anatoliy Kurtev, said at least 20 houses and 50 apartment buildings were damaged by Russian shelling. 

Oleksandr Starukh, the governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, posted pictures of heavily damaged apartment blocks on Instagram. He added that rescue teams were looking for survivors.

Zaporizhzhia is about 125 kilometers (80 miles) from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, currently held by Russian forces. 

The missile strike came after a section of the Crimean bridge collapsed Saturday morning, dealing a symbolic blow to Putin's war efforts in Ukraine and prompting fears of Russian retaliation. 

The strike was also the second one to have hit Zaporizhzhia this week.  

Here's more news from the war or concerning the war from Sunday, October 9: 

Scholz and Biden slam Kremlin's 'irresponsible' nuclear threats

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden agreed that the Kremlin's latest nuclear threats were "irresponsible," according to a German government statement released following a phone call between the two leaders on Sunday.

"They criticized the latest nuclear threats of Moscow as irresponsible and agreed such a step would have exceptionally serious consequences for Russia," the statement said. The Kremlin has repeatedly alluded to its nuclear stockpiles in warnings to the West over its role in arming Ukraine.

The statement said that Scholz and Biden described Putin's partial mobilization as  "a serious mistake," for which Russians are having to pay "the bitter price." Moscow declared the mobilization of 300,000 reservists late in September following a Ukrainian counteroffensive that recaptured territory in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

The two leaders said that they would not accept Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory and called it a further escalation of the war. Moscow declared it had annexed four regions in Ukraine's south and east following what the West and Kyiv described as "sham" referendums.

The statement added that Scholz and Biden agreed that the sabotage of critical infrastructure would be dealt with decisively, referring to ruptures at the Nord Stream pipelines. Russia has denied causing the gas leaks.

The phone call was focused on preparations for the upcoming G7 and G20 meetings, where Moscow's invasion will be discussed.

Putin: Ukraine's secret service behind Crimean bridge explosion

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the explosion that damaged parts of the Kerch Bridge in Crimea an "act of terrorism."

Putin said that Ukraine's secret service was responsible for the blast, Russian agencies reported.

"There is no doubt. This is an act of terrorism aimed at destroying critical civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation," Putin said.

His statement came following the Russian forces' missile attack on an apartment block and other residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant reconnected to power grid — IAEA

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said on Twitter that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine's south has been reconnected to the power grid.

On Saturday, the IAEA reported that overnight shelling had cut the plant's external power line, forcing it to switch to emergency diesel reactors.

Grossi called the restoration of an external power source "a temporary relief in a still untenable situation." He reiterated his call for the establishment of a "protection zone" around the power plant, adding that he would travel to Russia and then meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to advance the proposal.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree designating the plant "federal property" and ordered Russian government agencies to take over the facility.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility has been under Russian occupation since early March while remaining operated by Ukrainian technicians.

Slovakia sends Ukraine two howitzers

Slovakia has sent Ukraine two additional Zuzana howitzers, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said.

"To mark his 70th birthday, we delivered yet another gift to aggressor Putin," Nad said on Twitter. Ukrainian official Oleksiy Danilov had previously made a similar joke relating the explosion on the Kerch Bridge to Putin's birthday, which was on Friday.

Nad said that there was "much more to come" after the two Zuzana howitzers.

EU to train around 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers

EU countries want to train around 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, the Political and Security Committee (PSC) said.

The PSC is a security and foreign affairs body made up of ambassadors from EU states.

EU member states still have to formally confirm the measure.

German media reported that Germany and Poland would train the Ukrainian soldiers and that courses are planned in other EU countries.

Putin to convene Russian Security Council meeting on Monday

The Kremlin told Russian news agencies that President Vladimir Putin will chair a meeting with the country's Security Council on Monday.

"Tomorrow, the president has a planned meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The Council is made up of Russia's top security and defense officials, including former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Kyrgyzstan cancels Russian-led military drill

Kyrgyzstan has unilaterally canceled joint military drills with six countries, including Russia.

The exercises were to involve the six member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The Russian-led military alliance includes Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, which border Kyrgyzstan, as well as Armenia and Belarus.

Observers from Serbia, Syria and Uzbekistan were also invited to the drills.

The Kyrgyz Defense Ministry did not specify the reason for the cancellation of the joint exercises.

Blast on Crimean bridge exacerbates Russian logistical problems

Damage to the Kerch Bridge connecting Crimea to Russia is likely to exacerbate Moscow's logistical issues in Ukraine, Ben Hodges, a former US commanding general of the US Army in Europe and current adviser to Human Rights First, told DW.

"[The explosion] will make it more difficult for Russia to bring in logistical support [and] armored vehicles into Crimea from the Russian mainland," he said. "The Ukrainians have consistently been hitting logistics, which is a good way to degrade Russian capabilities."

Hodges said Russia's logistical network is "not the kind of network needed to sustain long-term land operations," adding that the Russian navy, air force and army have not "worked in concert" since the start of the invasion.

Asked why Kyiv is not claiming responsibility for the blast on the Kerch Bridge, Hodges said, "They don't have to. What matters is the effect."

"The Ukrainians have done a very good job of protecting information," he said, adding that there would be "no value in claiming credit" the explosion.

Russian divers assess extent of Crimean bridge damage

Russian divers are expected Sunday to examine damage caused by a series of explosions on the Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Russia and Crimea.

Russia's deputy prime minister, Marat Khusnullin, was quoted in Russian media stating divers would start work at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT).

The blasts on Saturday prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to sign a decree authorizing greater security for the strategically important bridge.

Black smoke rises from flames along the Kerch bridge
Supply lines into Crimea are under strain after several explosions rocked the bridge connecting Russia to Crimea Image: AFP/Getty Images

The decree also tightened security around critical infrastructure such as the electric and natural gas supply lines to Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

Putin also ordered that an investigative commission be established to probe the explosions. Russian authorities said three people died in the early morning blasts on the bridge.

Authorities believe a truck exploded and caused seven fuel tanker cars on a 59-car train headed towards Crimea on the lower level of the bridge to go up in flames.

A map showing the location of the Kerch Bridge

It took about 10 hours for vehicle traffic on the bridge to be restored and for Russia's Transportation Ministry to give the go ahead to restart rail traffic. 

Ukraine: Tough fighting near town of Bakhmut

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that Ukrainian forces are engaged in difficult battles near the strategically significant town of Bakhmut. Russian forces have repeatedly attempted to take the eastern city.

Bakhmut is on the main road leading to the also strategically significant towns of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk in the Donbas region, which Russia has not yet managed to fully occupy.

Zelenskyy also called on Western allies to supply more anti-aircraft systems as Russia continues firing missiles into Ukraine and has begun using Iranian kamikaze droneson the battlefield.

Officials in Kyiv believe that despite significant territorial gains in recent weeks which have seen Ukraine retake thousands of square kilometers, progress could slow with more determined resistance.

Ukraine's economy contracts 30% since war started

The Ukrainian economy contracted by 30% in the first three quarters of 2022 compared to the same time period in 2021. The Economy Ministry attributes the decline to Russia's invasion.

Weather also dampened the harvest in addition to the conflict, as did power supply cuts at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

In September, exports increased by 23% from August, the biggest increase since Moscow's February 24 invasion.

Uncertainty over the duration of the war as well as "further destruction of production facilities, infrastructure and residential buildings," harm the country's recovery, the ministry said.

rm, ar, sdi/nm, sms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)