At least 30 people died and 88 were left injured after a Russian missile struck a civilian convoy in Zaporizhzhia city of Ukraine on Friday, CNN reported citing Ukrainian officials.
“The enemy launched a rocket attack on a civilian humanitarian convoy on the way out of Zaporizhzhia,” Oleksandr Starukh, head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, said on Telegram.
The people killed in the strike include an 11-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, CNN reported quoting the head of Ukraine’s National Police, Ihor Klymenko.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday formally announced the annexation of four regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia and claimed that “this is the will of millions of people.”
As per the media reports, Putin said the residents in the four annexed regions will now be Russia’s “citizens forever”. “There are four new regions of Russia,” Putin said in a lengthy speech declaring the annexation of Ukrainian territories in the St George’s Hall at a Kremlin ceremony.
The speech was filled with highly critical rhetoric about Ukraine and its Western allies, reported Al Jazeera. While denying seeking revival of the Soviet Union by the said annexation, Putin accused Western states – which have imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Moreover, in a strong statement, Putin also added that Russia would now defend its new territory “with all the means at its disposal.”
He also called the result of the referendum “the will of millions of people.”
On February 24, Russia began a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics requested help in defending themselves. What followed the military operation was a slew of sanctions imposed by the western countries targeting the Russian economy.
(With ANI inputs)