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Ukraine – Dozens dead after rocket strike on railway station

Dozens of people have died and many more are wounded following an airstrike on a train station “full of civilians” trying to flee the Russian onslaught in eastern Ukraine.

The attack at a station in Kramatorsk killed more than 30 people and left at least 100 others injured, the national railway company said in a statement.

“Two rockets hit Kramatorsk railway station,” Ukrainian Railways announced.

Tetiana Ihnatchenko, a spokeswoman for the region of Donetsk where the attack took place, said that first responders had confirmed the initial casualty figures and warned the numbers were likely to rise.

The chairman of the Ukrainian Railways operator, Alexander Kamyshin, claimed the attack was a “deliberate strike” aimed at harming infrastructure and Ukrainian residents.

“More than 30 people were killed and over 100 were injured in the rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station,” he wrote on social media.

A message was reportedly visible on the remains of the rocket used for the attack, with AFP journalists saying the words “for our children” were written in Russian on the weapon.

It is one of the deadliest single rocket strikes that has occurred in the past six weeks of fighting.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took to social media to condemn the “evil” attack.

“[Russian forces] are cynically destroying the civilian population. This is an evil that has no limits. And if it is not punished, it will never stop,” he wrote.

Russia’s defence ministry denied any involvement in the attack on the train station in Kramatorsk, saying statements from Kyiv were “absolutely untrue

Kramatorsk is currently being used for civilian evacuations.

Photos from the scene show cars completely destroyed, personal belongings scattering the ground along with rubble.

The bodies of victims were covered with tarps on one of the train platforms and later loaded into a military truck and taken away from the scene.

Dozens of people have died and many more are wounded following an airstrike on a train station “full of civilians” trying to flee the Russian onslaught in eastern Ukraine.

The attack at a station in Kramatorsk killed more than 30 people and left at least 100 others injured, the national railway company said in a statement.

“Two rockets hit Kramatorsk railway station,” Ukrainian Railways announced.

Tetiana Ihnatchenko, a spokeswoman for the region of Donetsk where the attack took place, said that first responders had confirmed the initial casualty figures and warned the numbers were likely to rise.

The chairman of the Ukrainian Railways operator, Alexander Kamyshin, claimed the attack was a “deliberate strike” aimed at harming infrastructure and Ukrainian residents.

“More than 30 people were killed and over 100 were injured in the rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station,” he wrote on social media.

A message was reportedly visible on the remains of the rocket used for the attack, with AFP journalists saying the words “for our children” were written in Russian on the weapon.

It is one of the deadliest single rocket strikes that has occurred in the past six weeks of fighting.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took to social media to condemn the “evil” attack.

“[Russian forces] are cynically destroying the civilian population. This is an evil that has no limits. And if it is not punished, it will never stop,” he wrote.

Russia’s defence ministry denied any involvement in the attack on the train station in Kramatorsk, saying statements from Kyiv were “absolutely untrue”.

Burnt out vehicles are seen after a rocket attack on the railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk. Picture: AFP

Burnt out vehicles are seen after a rocket attack on the railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk. Picture: AFP

Casualties are laid out next to a platform. Picture: AFP

Casualties are laid out next to a platform. Picture: AFP

Kramatorsk is currently being used for civilian evacuations.

Photos from the scene show cars completely destroyed, personal belongings scattering the ground along with rubble.

The bodies of victims were covered with tarps on one of the train platforms and later loaded into a military truck and taken away from the scene.

Ukrainian police inspect the remains of a large rocket with the words ‘for our children’ written in Russian. Picture: Fadel Senna/AFP

Ukrainian police inspect the remains of a large rocket with the words ‘for our children’ written in Russian. Picture: Fadel Senna/AFP

Pro-Russian separatist commander in the Donetsk region, Eduard Basurin, has accused the Ukrainian military of being behind the attack, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Mr Basurin accused the military of deliberately organising a “provocation” at the railway station.

Kramatorsk was hit by Russian strikes earlier this week but had otherwise largely been spared the destruction witnessed by other east Ukraine cities since Russia began its invasion on February 24.

Ukrainian authorities warned residents in the east of the country to flee westwards immediately in advance of an anticipated Russian attack.

More than a month into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has shifted its focus to eastern and southern parts of the country after stiff resistance torpedoed its plans of an easy capture of the capital Kyiv.

Instead, Russian troops appear to be aiming to create a long-sought land link between occupied Crimea and the Moscow-backed separatists of Donetsk and Luhansk in Donbas.

Heavy shelling has already begun to lay waste to towns in the region, and officials have begged civilians to flee, but the intensity of fighting is impeding evacuations.

In Donetsk, the head of the regional military administration Pavlo Kyrylenko said three evacuation trains had been temporarily blocked after a Russian airstrike on an overpass by a station.

But officials continued to press civilians to leave where possible.

“There is no secret – the battle for Donbas will be decisive. What we have already experienced, all this horror, it can multiply,” warned governor of the Luhansk region, Sergiy Gaiday.

“Leave! The next few days are the last chances. Buses will be waiting for you in the morning,” he added.

Source; News.com

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