Footage released by Ukrainian emergency services on Wednesday shows a family being rescued from beneath their destroyed home in Zaporizhzhia, following Russia’s strikes on numerous Ukrainian cities on Monday.
The family had taken shelter in a cellar as soon as Russian missiles began to rain down, eventually hearing their house being reduced to rubble above them.
The video, now widely circulated on social media platforms, shows emergency responders initially helping a child out from a small debris-covered hole in the ground. The girl is then followed by her mother, and then by her father.
Miraculously, neither of the family members required medical assistance.
Watch the video here.
The city of Zaporizhzhia has come under sharp focus since the start of Russia’s illegal invasion, after its nuclear power plant – the largest in Europe – was captured by Russian forces.
The nuclear power plant has been struck several times while under Russian occupation, increasing concerns among Western leaders and organizations.
On Wednesday, Rafael Grossi, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on Twitter that he was travelling back to Kyiv after meeting with Putin in St. Petersburg, where the pair discussed the West’s concerns over the situation in Zaporizhzhia and general nuclear safety.
“As agreed with Ukraine President Zelensky, after my meetings in St Petersburg I am coming back to Kyiv,” Grossi tweeted.
“The work on the establishment of a nuclear safety & security protection zone around #Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant continues,” he added.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday that Russia’s recent strikes on civilians and civilian infrastructure “reveal the malice of Putin’s war of choice.”
Austin said that the West’s resolve in its support for Ukraine “has only been heightened by the deliberate cruelty of Russia’s new barrage of Ukraine cities.”
He added, “Those assaults on targets with no military purpose again reveal the malice of Putin’s war of choice, but Russia’s atrocities have further united the nations of good will that stand with Ukraine.”
Austin referred to the attacks as a “grim preview” of where the world could be heading, where “appetites of aggressive autocrats outweigh the rights of peaceful states … We would all be less secure in a world where big powers can assault their peaceful neighbors and trample their borders by force.”
On the same day, speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, branded Russia’s attacks on civilians in Ukraine a “war crime.”
“Russia has deliberately struck civilian infrastructure with the purpose of harming civilians,” he said. “They have targeted the elderly, the women and the children of Ukraine. Indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on civilian targets is a war crime in the international rules of war.”
Milley added that Ukrainians “have suffered greatly,” yet the country continues to “endure, and they are an inspiration to all.”
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