Kyiv, Ukraine: An overnight Russian missile strike killed 17 people in Zaporizhzhia, local authorities said on Sunday, in the latest deadly attack to hit the southern Ukrainian city that President Volodymyr Zelensky called “absolute evil”. “After night missile attack on Zaporizhzhia, at least 20 houses and about 50 multi-storey buildings were damaged. 17 people died, as of now,” Anatoliy Kurtev, secretary of Zaporizhzhia city council, wrote on Telegram. Four educational institutions were also damaged, he added. Zelensky and regional official Oleksandr Starukh provided a lower death toll of 12, with the latter saying that more victims may be under the rubble as a search and rescue operation was launched. At least 17 people including a child died when seven Russian missiles hit Zaporizhzhia before dawn on Thursday, Ukrainian authorities announced in an upwardly revised toll on Saturday. “Zaporizhzhia again. Merciless strikes on peaceful people again. On residential buildings, just in the middle of the night,” Zelensky said on Telegram of Sunday’s attack, adding that 49 people including six children were in hospital. “Absolute meanness. Absolute evil. Savages and terrorists. From the one who gave this order to everyone who fulfilled this order. They will bear responsibility. For sure. Before the law and before people.” Zaporizhzhia lies close to the frontline where Kyiv’s forces have been carrying out a large-scale counter-attack against Russian troops. The Ukrainian-controlled industrial city is located in the eponymous Zaporizhzhia region, also home to the Russian-occupied nuclear plant that has been the site of heavy shelling. Moscow claims to have annexed the region even though its forces do not control all of it. Ukraine said at least 30 people were killed last week when a convoy of civilian cars in the Zaporizhzhia region was shelled in an attack Kyiv blamed on Moscow.