Russia Bombs Fleeing Families at Kramatorsk Train Station

Minutes before it became clear that women, children and the elderly were among at least 39 dead and nearly 100 known to be injured when missile attack Kramatorsk train station in eastern Ukraine, Russian soldiers bragged about success on Telegram.

The missile hit the main evacuation center in the region and appeared to herald the start of an onslaught that Russia warned was imminent.

Minutes later, the messages, which claimed to have successfully destroyed “a crowd of Ukrainian militiamen at the Kramatorsk station,” were edited or disappeared altogether, according to several journalists’ accounts. in the area.

Journalists who have visited the train station in recent days have recorded hundreds of people crammed onto the platforms waiting to be evacuated. The local governor said up to 4,000 people were waiting to be evacuated when the rocket hit the building. A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry denied the attack, calling it a “provocation” instead.

Ukrainian military officials posted photos of the aftermath on Telegram, which showed corpses and suitcases lying on the tracks. Regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Reuters: “The ‘Rashists’ know very well what they are aiming for and what they want,” regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Reuters. they want to capture as many civilians as possible.”

Thousands of desperate people are trying to flee the war with only belongings that fit in a suitcase or two. Many of them never made it.

Documentary on the President of Ukraine / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tetiana Ihnatchenko, a spokeswoman for the Donetsk regional government, told CNN that the Russian military knew that the station would be filled with civilians. “[Evacuations] has been going on since February 26th and Russians know that thousands of people are there every day,” she said. “I believe that’s what they’re believing in.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the act another atrocity. “The inhuman Russians have not changed their methods,” he said. “Without the strength or courage to oppose us on the battlefield, they are brutally destroying civilians. This is an evil without limits. And if it goes unpunished, it never stops.”

Russia also attacked at least two residential homes in the picturesque port city of Odesa on Friday. It is not clear if there were any victims in that attack.

And north of Kyiv, Zelensky warned that the razed city of Borodianka was “significantly scarier” thanks to Bucha, where Russian troops were blamed for macabre executions and indiscriminate shelling of civilians. At least 300 people are known to have died there.

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