At least 50 people have been killed, including five children, and 98 have been injured on Friday after a Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine, a local official said, as international leaders condemn the Russian attacks.
At least 50 people have been killed, including at least five children, and 98 have been injured, including 16 children, after Russian troops carried out the missile strike, the head of the Donetsk regional administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said in a tweet.
12 victims died at the hospital, Kyrylenko said, adding that numbers would likely change as others sought medical help.
Leaders and organizations around the world denounced the attacks on Friday, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who said she would personally offer her condolences to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting Friday in Kyiv.
The mayor of Kramatorsk said there were around 4,000 people at the station trying to flee to safer areas of Ukraine at the time of the strike, most of them the elderly, women and children.
Russia’s defense ministry denied carrying out the attack, according to state-owned RIA news agency.
Ukrainian officials have been urging civilians to evacuate areas in the east of the country as Moscow withdraws its forces from northern Ukraine and around Kyiv and shifts its focus to “liberating” the eastern Donbas region. U.K. intelligence suggests Russian forces have entirely withdrawn from the north of Ukraine to Belarus and Russia, with many likely to be transferred to fight in the east, though it said this will take at least a week. Once significant fighting in the area has started, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk warned people that authorities will “not be able to help” them, urging them to immediately evacuate to safer areas of the country. Images from the past week have shown platforms and trains at Kramatorsk station packed with civilians fleeing westwards. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Finland’s parliament Friday no Ukrainian troops had been at the station at the time of the attack. Von der leyen, who said she was “appalled” by the killings, is meeting in person with Zelensky in Kyiv on Friday, though details of the talks will not be shared for security reasons, according to Reuters.
Russia has faced numerous accusations of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and other atrocities committed during its invasion of Ukraine. Its alleged targeting of civilians—including hospitals, schools, shelters and humanitarian corridors—and evidence of executed and tortured civilians in areas it has withdrawn from like Bucha have sparked global condemnation, the expulsion of diplomats and new waves of sanctions. Russia denies the atrocities, baselessly accusing Ukraine and the West of fabricating the claims.