In Ukraine, the death toll from missile strikes in the city of Zaporizhzhia has risen to 11, after rescue crews combed through the rubble of a five-story apartment complex flattened by a Russian assault on Thursday. Twenty-one survivors were pulled from the blast site. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the death toll rose after a Russian strike fell on first responders who rushed to the site — a tactic known as a double-tap strike.
President Volodymyr Zelensky: “In Zaporizhzhia, after the first rocket strike today, when people came to pick apart the rubble, Russia conducted a second rocket strike. Absolute vileness. Absolute evil. And there have been thousands of instances of this already, and there could be thousands more, unfortunately.”
Zelensky’s comments Thursday came as he met with the head of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, in Kyiv. Their meeting came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to be Russian federal property. Grossi rejected Putin's assertion and repeated his call for the establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant, where fierce fighting has threatened to trigger a radiation disaster.
Rafael Grossi: “The staff at the plant is operating under almost unbearable circumstances — the stress, the uncertainty, not knowing what is going to happen. … We are here in a conflict. We are here in a war. We want this war to stop. The war should stop immediately. And, of course, the position of the IAEA is that this facility is a Ukrainian facility.”