A Russian missile has struck a hotel in the heart of Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, claiming one life and causing injuries to 16 individuals, as confirmed by Ukrainian officials.
The incident occurred on Thursday evening, casting a grim shadow over the region’s already volatile situation.
According to the national police, the destructive impact of an Iskander missile was felt at precisely 7:20pm (1620 GMT) as it hit the city. The toll on Zaporizhzhia has been relentless, with the city enduring consistent Russian shelling. This latest incident resulted in a devastating fire that erupted within a civilian structure, engulfing it in chaos and tragedy, as expressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Zaporizhzhia Governor Yuriy Malashko reported that among the 16 casualties, four were children, further underscoring the indiscriminate and distressing nature of the attack. Visual evidence captured the aftermath in stark detail, showcasing a substantial crater, mangled vehicles, and a severely damaged four-storey building, identified by a hotel sign. This building, as local media reported, is the Reikartz Hotel, a prominent establishment situated on the bank of the Dnipro River in the city centre.
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Denise Brown, the humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, conveyed her shock and dismay through an emailed statement. She disclosed that the hotel had been a regular residence for United Nations personnel and workers from NGOs engaged in aiding those impacted by the ongoing conflict. Brown lamented, “I am appalled by the news that a hotel frequently used by United Nations personnel and our colleagues from NGOs supporting people affected by the war has been hit by a Russian strike in Zaporizhzhia shortly ago,” adding a personal note, “I have stayed in this hotel every single time I visited Zaporizhzhia.”
Tragically, this event marks the second consecutive day that Zaporizhzhia has suffered under the assault of Russian strikes. Just a day prior, two young women and a man lost their lives, while nine others sustained injuries in a similar missile attack. The city’s vulnerability to such strikes highlights the pressing need for international attention and efforts to restore peace to the region, as civilians continue to bear the brunt of this harrowing conflict.