A Russian missile attack on Friday reportedlyMore than 30 people were killed at a train station in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, where civilians fled the growing violence.
Pavlo Kyrylenko is the regional governor for Donetsk. said in a statement that “thousands of people were at the station during the missile strike, as residents of Donetsk region are being evacuated to safer regions of Ukraine.”
Horrific photos video footageThe scene shows bodies and luggage littered on the pavement, and emergency workers working to transport the injured by the strike that occurred as Russia faced sanctions growing accusationsof war crimes. One photo appeared to showThe missile that landed close to the train station.
The Financial Times reported that the Russian Defense Ministry “initially said it had used high-precision rockets to attack three Ukrainian railway stations in the Donbas that it claimed were hosting ‘Ukrainian reserves’ armaments and military equipment.’”
“But after the scale of the civilian casualties became clear, Russia denied any involvement in the attack, which it said was a ‘provocation’ that ‘has nothing to do with reality,’” FT added. “The defense ministry said: ‘Russia’s forces had no plans to fire on targets in Kramatorsk on April 8.’ It claimed that the missiles used in the attack were used solely by Ukrainian forces.”
In the wake of the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian forces of “cynically destroying the civilian population” because they are “lacking the strength and courage to stand up to us on the battlefield.”
“This is an evil that has no limits,” he added. “And if it is not punished, it will never stop.”
Western officials are the latest to be accused of atrocities sayRussia has failed to seize Kyiv or other major cities and is shifting its focus towards eastern Ukraine, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting for years.
Recent days have seen Ukrainian officials urging residents of the eastern region to evacuate in preparation for a possible Russian offensive. According toThe Washington Post, local officials on Wednesday “reported renewed Russian shelling in the eastern Donetsk region, killing at least five people, and as many as 10 high-rise apartment buildings on fire in Severodonetsk, in the neighboring Luhansk district.”
Since Russia launched its invasion in late February, more than 11 million Ukrainians — around a quarter of the pre-war population — have been forced to flee their homes to escape airstrikes and ground fighting.
On Thursday, NATO member states will be represented agreedWe will provide Ukraine with more advanced weaponry, despite mounting concerns about Western arms shipments affecting the ongoing peace negotiations and potentially prolonging the war. Despite some progress, weeks of tension between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations has not resulted in a lasting ceasefire. reports of progressFrom both sides.
Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, told Sky News ahead of the train station attack that “we’re trying to build up a very, very uneasy [and] very, very difficult, compromise.”
“Many Ukrainians are not happy with the attempts of the government to find some ground with Russia,” said Prystaiko. “People, in most of the cases, don’t even understand how can we sit at the table with those who are just killing each and every day our people. But that’s the nature of any war. They will have to come to an end and we will.”
This story has been updated to include comments from the Russian Defense Ministry.