Russian strike batters Zaporizhzhia Airport as war rages on

Volodymyr Marchuk, an official with the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, confirmed the airport terminal was hit in comments to The Kyiv Independent on Saturday.

The newly renovated terminal at Zaporizhzhia International Airport lies in ruins after being pummeled by a Russian missile strike on Friday, authorities said, just the latest civilian target devastated by Moscow’s flailing invasion.

Volodymyr Marchuk, an official with the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, confirmed the airport terminal was hit in comments to The Kyiv Independent on Saturday. Lawmaker Musa Magomedov shared photos showing heavy damage to the sleek, modern building that had only opened in October 2020 before the war upended life in Ukraine.

No casualties from the airport strike have been reported yet. However, regional governor Ivan Fedorov said Russian missiles also struck elsewhere in Zaporizhzhia on Friday, without providing further details.

The aerial bombardment came after air raid sirens sounded across the region, warning of a potential Russian cruise missile attack. Ukraine has kept its airspace closed to civilian flights since the full-scale invasion began over a year ago.

The airport terminal is just the latest civilian target pounded by Russian forces that have struggled to gain ground and achieve any of their strategic objectives. More than half of Ukraine’s airports and airfields have been damaged or destroyed by Russian strikes, according to the Liga news outlet.

In the embattled eastern city of Kharkiv, emergency crews are still sifting through the smouldering rubble of a Russian missile strike that devastated a residential neighbourhood on Sunday night. At least 16 bodies have been recovered so far, but the death toll is expected to rise.

The relentless attacks on urban areas come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Moscow appeared to be redeploying forces and increasing its military presence near Ukraine’s northern border with Russia and Belarus. He did not provide specifics, but any renewed offensive from the north would represent a shocking military debacle for the Kremlin after its forces were repelled from the Kyiv region last year.

Despite persistent bombings that have killed thousands of civilians, Ukraine has defended its territory with fierce resistance — but at an enormous cost. The country’s desperate need for more weapons and ammunition from Western allies is expected to be high on the agenda as leaders of the Group of Seven leading economies meet in Hiroshima, Japan this weekend.