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Ukrainian servicemen stand next to a fragment of a Tochka-U missile after Russian shelling at the railway station. Andriy Andriyenko

50 killed and over 100 injured in rocket attack on eastern Ukraine train station, authorities say

Volodymyr Zelenskyy described Russia as an “evil with no limits”.

LAST UPDATE | 8 Apr 2022

A ROCKET STRIKE has killed 50 people and injured over 100 others at a train station being used to evacuate civilians in eastern Ukraine, authorities in the war-torn country said.

Fifty people were killed, including five children, the regional governor of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said as the toll rose on one of the deadliest strikes of the six-week-old war.

The head of Ukraine’s railways Alexander Kamyshin said that two rockets hit the station. Earlier reports said that at least 30 people were killed. 

Thousands were at the station at the time of the strike, preparing to evacuate to safer regions as Russia focuses its troops on eastern Ukraine, Kyrylenko added.

Reacting to the latest attack on civilians, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said around 300 people had been injured, and described Russia as an “evil with no limits”.

“They are cynically destroying the civilian population. This is an evil that has no limits. And if it is not punished, it will never stop,” Zelenskyy said on Instagram.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said “the horrific attack is further evidence of the barbaric nature of Russia’s war on Ukraine”.

This is genocide. And those responsible must be held to account.

AFP journalists on the scene saw at least 30 bodies of people grouped and lying under plastic sheets next to the station.

Blood was pooling on the ground and packed bags were strewn outside the building in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The journalists said four cars next to the station had been destroyed and the remains of a large rocket with the words “for our children” in Russian were lying adjacent to the main building.

gettyimages-1239828286-594x594 Personal belongings of victims and burnt-out vehicles after a rocket attack on the railway station. AFP via Getty Images AFP via Getty Images

Bodies were later seen being loaded onto a military truck.

Russian denials

As it has done with previous attacks on civilians in Ukraine, Russia denied that it was involved in the rocket strike.

“All statements by representatives of the Kyiv nationalist regime about the ‘rocket attack’ allegedly carried out by Russia on April 8 at the railway station in the city of Kramatorsk are a provocation and are absolutely untrue,” Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement.

EU Council chief Charles Michel accused Russia of a “horrifying” act, saying Moscow was cutting off an escape route for civilians.

“Horrifying to see Russia strike one of the main stations used by civilians evacuating the region where Russia is stepping up its attack,” Michel wrote on Twitter.

“I strongly condemn this morning’s indiscriminate attack…by Russia” EU foreign policy Josep Borrell said in a separate tweet.

Kramatorsk was hit by Russian strikes earlier this week but had otherwise largely been spared the destruction witnessed by other east Ukraine cities since Russia’s invasion.

Ukrainian authorities warned residents in the east of the country to flee westwards immediately in advance of an anticipated Russian attack.

Additional reporting from Press Association and Céimin Burke

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