Ukraine updates: Russian strikes kill 12 in reprisal for bridge attack; criticism heats up in Russia.

Pankaj Thakur

russian strikes kills 12 in reprisal for bridge attack

Russia launched multiple missile attacks into the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia overnight, killing at least 12 people and wounding dozens in an apparent reprisal for a blast that damaged a Crimean bridge, authorities said Sunday.The missile strikes caused one high-rise apartment building to partially collapse and blew out windows in adjacent buildings. The attacks came hours after an explosion Saturday caused the partial collapse of a bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula with Russia, damaging an important supply artery for the Kremlin’s war effort.Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, responding to the Russian barrage, said Ukraine "urgently needs more modern air and missile defense systems" to protects its cities.City council initially said 17 had died, but later revised the number to 12. Countil Secretary Anatoliy Kurtev said rockets damaged at least 20 private homes and dozens of apartment buildings in Zaporizhzhia, in a region President Vladimir Putin has claimed for Russia.

Putin blames Ukraine forces for 'terrorist attack' on Crimea bridge,

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that air force Gen. Sergei Surovikin would now command all Russian troops in Ukraine. Surovikin, who already was in charge of troops in southern Ukraine, had led Russian forces in Syria and was accused of overseeing a bombardment that destroyed much of Aleppo.

Criticism of the war effort is growing in Russia, with vocal critics including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and private military company owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, as well as state-approved TV presenters, pop stars and "an increasingly vocal community of ultra-nationalistic military bloggers," the British Defense Ministry said in its latest assessment.

The criticism remains focused on the Russian military command rather than political leadership, the ministry said. But the assessment says the trend of public voicing of dissent against the Russian establishment is being at least partly tolerated and "will likely be hard to reverse."

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