Russian Attack on Kramatorsk Train Station Kills At Least 50 – Another Russian missile attack on civilian people and infrastructure killed at least 50 Ukrainian civilians including five children Ukrainian officials have said. The train station was being used to evacuate civilians from eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.
Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the 50 dead and the more than 100 wounded civilians were taken to area hospitals, where some of the wounded died before medical officials could save them.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video conference with the Finnish parliament, “This is just an ordinary railway terminal … just an ordinary town in the east of Ukraine,” of this latest Russian attack on the citizens of Ukraine.
“This is how Russia came to protect the Donbas, how they view the protection of the Russian-speaking population. And this is the 44th day of our reality,” he added.
Two Russian missiles struck the station in Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast on Friday morning, according to Ukraine’s state-owned railway company, whose head, Oleksandr Kamyshin, called it “a deliberate attack on the passenger infrastructure of the railway and the residents of Kramatorsk” in a post on Facebook.
The remains of a large rocket with the words “for our children” in Russian painted on the side were also seen on the ground next to the main building of the station. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said in a statement on Facebook that the missile used in the attack was a Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, during a White House briefing on Friday, responded to the attack with a statement.
“What we’ve seen over the course of the last six weeks or more than that has been what the president himself has characterized as war crimes,” Psaki said.
“Which is the intentional targeting of civilians. This is yet another horrific atrocity committed by Russia, striking civilians who are trying to evacuate and reach safety.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Russian forces were responsible for the attack, claiming that the Russian Ministry of Defense, doesn’t use Tochka-U short-range ballistic missiles.
“Our Armed Forces do not use missiles of this type,” Peskov said during a press briefing Friday. “No combat tasks were set or planned for today in Kramatorsk.” The Russians, as they’ve done throughout the war, blamed the missile strike on the Ukrainians, who do have the Tochka-U missile.
The Tochka-U was named the SS-21 Scarab by NATO and was taken out of front-line Russian service in 2021. But on February 24, Russian forces launched an SS-21 at a hospital in Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, killing 4 civilians and wounding 10. And photos of Russian BAZ-5921 trucks were seen carrying SS-21 launchers. Russia denied that as well.
The railway station was hit at about 10:30 a.m. local time on Friday, Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenk told the BBC as thousands of civilians were waiting to flee the city in eastern Ukraine.
Russia not only accused Ukraine’s armed forces of carrying out the Kramatorsk attack but also of using civilians as a “human shield” and a Russian-backed separatist leader said it was a Ukrainian “provocation”.
Russia’s Defense Ministry released a statement, denying the attack, “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,” they said.
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv called the attack on the train station in Kramatorsk, where thousands of civilians were running out of time to flee the expected heavy fighting in the Donbas and neighboring Luhansk areas as “another atrocity committed by Russia in Ukraine,” adding that “the world will hold Putin accountable.”
The Russians are pulling troops out of the line at Kyiv and withdrawing them to give an expected renewed offensive to support the separatists regions fight against Ukraine.
Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.