The governor of Kramatorsk region in eastern Ukraine announced that at least 52 people, including five children, were killed in the missile attack on the city’s railway station on Friday. He also said that 98 people had been injured and hospitalized.
At least 52 people, including five children, were killed in a missile strike Friday on Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine. A “boundless evil” according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a “horrible atrocity” committed by Moscow for US President Joe Biden, a “crime against humanity” according to French diplomacy: the Kramatorsk massacre sparked a wave of Western condemnations, but Moscow denied any responsibility.
The missile fell around 10:30 a.m. local time
“50 dead, including five children,” regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram messaging, adding that 38 people died on the spot and 12 in hospital, out of 98 people hospitalized in total. The missile fell around 10:30 a.m. (7:30 GMT), at a time when candidates for evacuation have been gathering for days by the hundreds in the city’s train station to flee Donbass, now a priority objective for the Russian army. .
AFP journalists saw at least 30 bodies in body bags or under tarpaulins. The sidewalks were stained with blood, abandoned suitcases, stuffed animals and food littered the platforms. On the forecourt, the remains of a missile were still visible: one could read in Russian “For our children”. A recurring expression of pro-Russian separatists in reference to their children killed since the first Donbass war, which began in 2014.
Zelensky denounces “unlimited evil”
In the station, a woman, traumatized, was looking for her passport in the abandoned belongings. “I heard like a double explosion, I rushed against the wall to protect myself. I then saw people in blood entering the station, bodies all over the ground, I don’t know if they were injured or dead. The soldiers rushed to tell us to evacuate the station, I left everything here”. President Zelensky denounced “unlimited evil” and “inhuman” methods of Russia.
“Without the strength and the courage to face us on the battlefield, they cynically annihilate the civilian population. It is an evil that knows no bounds. And if it is not punished, it will not never stop,” he wrote on Telegram. This bloody attack on the “capital” of the part of Donbass still under Ukrainian control is a “horrible new atrocity committed by Russia”, reacted in a tweet Joen Biden. A “despicable attack” according to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who arrived in Ukraine for a support visit, accompanied by the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell.
Moscow denies being responsible for the bombing
The French head of state Emmanuel Macron had previously also denounced the bombing of Kramatorsk as “abominable”, his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian even speaking of a “crime against humanity”. Moscow immediately denied being responsible, claiming not to have the type of missile that would have been used and denouncing a Ukrainian “provocation”.
“The Ukrainian armed forces committed a new war crime on April 8, by striking with a Tochka-U tactical missile”, reacted the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while that of Defense accused kyiv of having “orchestrated strikes it to “prevent the departure of the population of the city so that it can be used as a human shield”.