Many know the search for loved ones will end in tragedy after Zaporizhzhia strike

Julia was injured in the attack - she is now searching for her husband. Credit: John Ray

ITV News Correspondent John Ray reports from the scene of the Russian strike on the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, which has left 17 people dead.

Where once there were families, there is now just a void. An empty, smouldering space left by a Russian missile. Around us neighbours stand by in silence, shock etched on their faces. Ukraine has learnt the high price of war; yet there is disbelief that it is their turn to pay it. Witnesses tell us they heard at least two explosions. The air raid sirens had already sounded. The survivors we spoke to had taken shelter in their bathrooms.

"There was so much fire and so many flames," one woman says. She’d been blown backwards by the force of the blast. We watch as Maria, 89 years old, is helped out of the ruins of the collapsed apartment block. Her daughter, Ludmila, is crying - there is relief and anger. "Who could do such a thing to us?" she asks.

Leonid stumbles across the debris; calling out for revenge on the Russians. He has nieces and nephews in the flats. They are among the many missing. The city of Zaporizhzhia, the Ukrainian held capital of a region illegally annexed by Russian, is relatively close to the front line of fighting. It’s been struck twice within the past week alone with a huge loss of civilian life. In a hospital corridor, we meet Julia, sitting in a wheel chair, her head bandaged, her face bruised, her eyes full of tears. She escaped with her son - but she has no news of her husband, Stepan. "I just hope he has been taken to another hospital," she says. Hope against expectation is a powerful force here. But many know their search for loved ones will end in tragedy.