Train station strike in eastern Ukraine takes brutal toll on civilians
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Telegram post that police and rescuers were at the scene and that at least 30 people were killed and that 100 were injured “to varying degrees.”
“Lacking the strength and courage to stand up to us on the battlefield, they are cynically destroying the civilian population. This is an evil that has no limits,” he said, blaming Russia for the attack.
Russia has yet to publicly comment. However, Eduard Basurin, a pro-Russian separatist commander in the Donetsk region, accused the Ukrainian military of organizing a “provocation” at the railway station in Kramatorsk and of being responsible for the incident, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The chairman of the Ukrainian Railways operator, Alexander Kamyshin, wrote on Telegram that more than 30 people were killed in what he said was a deliberate strike on passenger infrastructure. The railway operator added that two missiles struck the station and that details were still being clarified. The Kramatorsk police said the station was struck by Russian ballistic missiles.
The head of the Donetsk regional administration wrote on Telegram that thousands of people were at the railway station trying to flee the area while it was still relatively safe to do so, as Russian troops reposition away from the north and focus on the east and south of Ukraine.
“Police and rescuers working in the city are reporting dozens of dead and injured people,” said Pavlo Kyrylenko. “Thousands of people were at the station during the missile strike, as residents of the Donetsk region are being evacuated to safer regions of Ukraine.”
Kyrylenko shared graphic images of bodies in the station and piles of luggage strewn nearby, as well as firefighters heading into the station serving Kramatorsk, which has a population of almost 160,000. The Donetsk regional chief accused Russian forces of deliberately targeting civilians attempting to flee, writing: “They want to destroy everything Ukrainian.”
Suliman reported from London and Ilyushina from Riga, Latvia. Annabelle Chapman in Paris contributed to this report.