At least 52 people were killed and dozens more were injured when a Russian missile hit a railway station in Ukraine. Most of the dead were children and women trying to flee the country. But perhaps a message crueller than the death and destruction was the Russian inscription on the rocket that read, ‘This is for your children.” About four thousand people were present in and around the station when the attack took place, claims Ukrainian media.
Today marks the 44th day of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Observers in the West are calling the attack on the railway station a “war crime”. The Russians attacked the spot reportedly in the city of Butcha near Kyiv while withdrawing their troops from Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials said thousands of people had gathered there during the missile attack on the railway station in the city of Kramatorsk. Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said some 4,000 civilians had gathered in and around the station, most of them women and children.
The Russian defence ministry denied attacking the station, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy alleged that Russian troops deliberately targeted a site where civilians had gathered. Russia blamed Ukraine for the incident, saying the type of missile used to strike the station was not Russian. Defence experts in the US dismissed the Russian clarification.
Russian media, banned across browsers of US-based companies, claims that while Zelenskyy claimed it was a Tochka U rocket launched by “Russian monsters”, the Ukrainian state railway operator says it was a Russian Iskander missile that injured over 100 people.
Russia Today, broadcasting its content through its website, mobile application and messaging service Telegram, said a message “for the children” that the Western media claimed was seen written on an apparent fragment of the missile was part of the Nato bloc’s “fake news” propaganda.
Russia’s MoD insists it was Ukrainian forces that fired the missile, and that Kyiv’s claims were a “provocation that absolutely does not correspond to reality”, pointing to a similar attack launched in Donetsk in March that killed 17 people.
“Every minute efforts will be made to prove who did what, who ordered what, where the missile came from, who delivered it, who ordered it and who approved of it,” Zelenskyy told the people of Ukraine in his video address Friday night. “Inhuman Russians are not changing their ways. They are now harming the civilian population for not having the strength and courage to stand before us in a war zone,” the Ukrainian president said.
The Ukrainian president said that there was no end to this “evil”. “If they are not punished, they (Russia) will never stop,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian politicians have said that areas of the country that has been carved out of Russia could see more horrific scenes in the coming days due to the devastation caused by Russian forces.