Dozens killed in rocket attack on train station in eastern Ukraine
(Update 2: raises number of casualties, adds info, edits throughout)
Kyiv, Apr 8 (EFE).- At least 50 people, including five children, were killed Friday and dozens more were wounded after a rocket strike hit Kramatorsk train station in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, local officials said.
“We have such a large number of victims (…) as a result of the attack of the Russian occupation forces,” head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a statement shared on social media.
“So far, 98 people have been hospitalized. We expect other victims to seek medical help within a day or two, so the number of victims will be constantly changing,” he added.
Regional authorities had been urging the civilian population to leave for two days amid warnings that Russia was preparing a major offensive to take full control of the area.
Thousands of civilians were reportedly at the station at the time of the attack as people were being evacuated from eastern Ukraine to safer parts of the country further west.
Local media cited the mayor of Kramatorsk saying hospitals were struggling to cope with the number of wounded, many of whom had lost limbs.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the attack and said the incident was proof that Russia was “destroying” the civilian population.
“Lacking the strength and courage to stand up to us on the battlefield, they are cynically destroying the civilian population,” Zelenskyy wrote on social media.
“This is an evil that has no limits. And if it is not punished, it will never stop,” he added.
European Union leaders also condemned the strike, calling it an “indiscriminate” and “horrific” attack against Ukrainians.
“I strongly condemn this morning’s indiscriminate attack against a train station in Kramatorsk, Russia, which killed dozens of people and left many more wounded. This is yet another attempt to close escape routes for those fleeing this unjustified war and cause human suffering,” EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, who is visiting Kyiv Friday, tweeted.
European Council president, Charles Michel, said “action is needed: more sanctions on Russia and more weapons to Ukraine are underway from the EU.”
Russia has denied responsibility for the strike, while pro-Russian separatists in the region have accused Kyiv of carrying out the attack. EFE