On the 44th day of the Russian invasion, at least 52 people, including five children, were killed in a missile strike Friday on Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine, while senior European officials stood returned to Boutcha, a city symbol of the atrocities of which Russia is accused. Europe 1 takes stock of the situation.
At least 52 people, including five children, were killed in a missile strike on Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine on Friday, while senior European officials traveled to Bucha, a city symbol of atrocities including Russia is accused. 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 responsibility, on the 44th day of the Russian invasion of the country.
Heavy toll at Kramatorsk station
At least 52 people, including five children, were killed and around 100 injured on Friday in a missile attack on Kramatorsk station (east), from where thousands of evacuees had been leaving for the rest of the country for several days. Moscow immediately denied being responsible for the strike, saying it did not have the type of missile used, and accused kyiv of having “orchestrated” the launch to prevent civilians from fleeing. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has denounced “unlimited evil” unleashed by Russia.
EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell condemned an “indiscriminate attack” while US President Joe Biden accused Moscow of committing a “horrible atrocity”. This bombardment constitutes a “crime against humanity”, according to the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The “European future” of Ukraine, according to von der Leyen
“Russia will sink into economic, financial and technological decay, while Ukraine is marching towards a European future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference in Kyiv with the President. Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky.
Before that, Ms. von der Leyen, accompanied by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, had gone to Boutcha, in particular to see the mass graves dug to bury the dozens of civilians killed there. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer left Vienna for Ukraine on Friday and will travel to kyiv and Boutcha on Saturday, according to a statement sent to AFP.
Saturday night curfew in Odessa
A curfew will be in effect from Saturday evening to Monday morning in Odessa, the major Ukrainian port on the Black Sea, in the face of the “threat” of missile strikes, local authorities announced. After the bombardment of Kramatorsk station, “a threat of missile attack hovers in Odessa”.
Sumy region ‘liberated’ from Russian forces
The region of Sumy, bordering Russia in northeastern Ukraine, has been completely “liberated” from Russian forces, the head of the regional administration announced on Friday, adding, however, that the area was “not safe” and that demining operations were in progress.
London sanctions Putin’s daughters
After Washington and Brussels, the United Kingdom on Friday sanctioned the two daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and that of his head of diplomacy Sergei Lavrov, saying he wanted to attack the “lavish lifestyle of the inner circle of the Kremlin”. They are now prohibited from entering British territory, where any possible assets will be frozen.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also announced that he will strengthen military aid to Ukraine, with the dispatch of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.
Talks in Turkey
Russia and Ukraine are still “agreeing” to meet for negotiations in Turkey despite recent abuses on the ground, a senior Turkish official said on Friday. The diplomatic aspect of the crisis shows no sign of progress since the last session of live talks between the two countries, on March 29 in Istanbul, he underlined.
Sailors stranded in Ukrainian ports
Two UN agencies on Friday called for urgent action to help around 1,000 sailors who have been stranded in Ukrainian waters and ports since the Russian invasion. According to the International Labor Organization and the International Organization for Migration, more than 100 commercial vessels cannot leave the ports of Ukraine and neighboring waters.
The situation in Borodianka is “much more horrible” than in Boutcha
As Russia steps up its attacks in the south and east, kyiv – where European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Foreign Minister Joseph Borrell are expected on Friday – is witnessing the true extent of the damage in areas now abandoned by Moscow forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the destruction in Borodianka, near kyiv, was worse than in Boutcha, where images of dead bodies on the streets sparked international outrage. Twenty-six bodies have been extracted by Ukrainian rescue workers from the rubble of two apartment buildings in Borodianka, northwest of kyiv, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova announced on Facebook on Thursday.
In a video message Thursday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assured that the situation in Borodianka is “much more horrible” than in Boutcha. “There are more victims”. But it is also to the east of the country, now a priority target for Moscow, that attention is focused. The Kremlin spokesman acknowledged Thursday that Russian forces had already suffered “significant military losses” in this region, citing a “huge tragedy”.
Fearing an offensive against these regions, the Ukrainian authorities have again called on the civilian population to leave them. “All the horrors that we have known are likely to get worse. Do not condemn yourselves to death! Leave! The next few days will be the last chance” for an evacuation, launched Serguiï Gaïdaï.