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Deadly shelling strikes Zaporizhzhia as Ukraine responds to report it was behind Moscow car bombing

A Ukrainian firefighter is shown amid the rubble from a fire after a strike in Zaporizhzhia on Thursday. (Marina Moiseyenko/AFP/Getty Images)

A Ukrainian firefighter is shown amid the rubble from a fire after a strike in Zaporizhzhia on Thursday.

Photo: (Marina Moiseyenko/AFP/Getty Images)

RCI

Kremlin pleased with U.S. report on Darya Dugina, but elsewhere its military leaders are taking heat

A Russian rocket strike destroyed a five-storey apartment block in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, killing at least three people and leaving other residents trapped under rubble, the regional governor and emergency services said on Thursday.

Firefighters rushed through the streets to tackle the blazes after the overnight attack, and more explosions were heard on Thursday morning in what local officials said was a renewed Russian strike.

There was no immediate comment on the strike from Russia.

Images of the aftermath of Thursday's missile strike, which took place in the early hours of the morning, showed a gaping, rubble-strewn hole where a terracotta-coloured five-story apartment block used to stand next to a wine shop.

Reuters reporters saw firefighters bringing a father and son down a long ladder and talking to an older man still trapped under rubble and covered in dust.

Objectively speaking, Dugina was really never of any interest to Ukraine, he wrote on WhatsApp in response to a Reuters request for comment.

"Before Dugina's murder, the people of Ukraine and representatives of the Ukrainian authorities did not know about her public activities and her influence on propaganda programs.

In our opinion, the key beneficiary of Dugina's murder was certain Russian radical supporters of the war [in Ukraine]. Including a section of the [Russian] special services.

But the Times reported that some U.S. officials suspected Dugina's father, Alexander Dugin, a vocal supporter of what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine, was the actual target of the assassination.

Some friends of the family told media outlets in the aftermath of the killing that they believed Dugin was the target of the attack and that the pair were due to travel in the same Toyota Land Cruiser that was targeted until a last minute change of plan.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russian intelligence had always argued that Ukraine was behind the August killing of Dugina so it was positive that the United States appeared to share that assessment.

The U.S. took no part in the attack on Dugina and was not aware of it ahead of time, the Times reported. American officials admonished Ukrainian officials over the assassination, the Times said.

Russian generals, minister blasted over Ukraine gains

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a late night address on Wednesday that his army had retaken more settlements in the southern Kherson region.

Switching from Ukrainian to Russian, Zelenskyy addressed pro-Moscow forces, telling them they had already lost.

Ukrainians know what they are fighting for. And more and more citizens of Russia are realizing that they must die simply because one person does not want to end the war, he said, in a reference to Putin.

Footage released by the Ukrainian army in Kherson showed a Russian infantry fighting vehicle with a white piece of fabric wrapped around its gun barrel surrendering to Ukrainian troops and its three-man Russian crew falling to their knees as a group of Ukrainian soldiers covered them with their guns.

Ukraine's military in the south said its forces had killed at least 58 Russian fighters, and destroyed nine tanks, 17 armoured vehicles and four howitzers.

Reuters could not immediately verify the reports.

Kirill Stremousov, a Russian-installed official in Kherson, said that Ukraine's advance in the area had been halted.

The situation is under control, there is no advance of Ukraine's Armed Forces, and our military guys are working, he said on the Telegram messaging app.

But a Russian-installed official in Ukraine poured scorn on Moscow's generals on Thursday and suggested its defence minister should shoot himself because of failures in the Ukraine conflict.

In a four-minute video message, Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-installed deputy head of the annexed Kherson region, publicly scolded the generals and ministers in Moscow for failing to understand the problems on the front.

Indeed, many say: if they were a defence minister who had allowed such a state of affairs, they could, as officers, have shot themselves, Stremousov said. But you know the word 'officer' is an incomprehensible word for many.

It follows criticism earlier this week of the defence ministry by a loyalist state TV host.

Please explain to me what the general staff's genius idea is now? Vladimir Solovyov, one of the most prominent Russian talk show hosts, said on his live stream channel.

Thomson Reuters

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