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Russian missile attack kills at least 39 at train station in eastern Ukraine

By Clyde Hughes

A Russian missile struck a crowded train station in eastern Ukraine on Friday where thousands of people were waiting to evacuate, Ukrainian authorities, killing more than three dozen people and drawing new outrage.

The missile struck the station in Kramatorsk, where civilians had gathered for a way out of the battle-torn area. At least 39 people were killed and more than 100 were injured, officials said.

Kramatorsk is located about 50 miles north of Donetsk and 80 miles northwest of Luhansk — regions of eastern Ukraine, known as the Donbas, that have been at odds with the Ukrainian government for almost a decade. Kramatorsk is located within Donetsk Oblast.

Prior to Friday’s missile attack, many at the train station were attempting to evacuate the dangerous region that has repeatedly been hit by Russian shelling over the past six weeks.

“The rocket hit the temporary waiting room, where hundreds of people were waiting for the evacuation train,” Donetsk regional police said, according to CNN.

“This is another proof that Russia is brutally, barbarically killing the civilian Ukrainians, with one goal only — to kill.”

Russia’s defense ministry denied responsibility for the attack.

The deadly missile attack drew yet more global outrage toward Russia just days after images first emerged from Bucha, near Kyiv, that showed dead civilians — including women and children — who’d been killed by occupying Russian forces.

“The inhuman Russians are not changing their methods,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted Friday. “Without the strength or courage to stand up to us on the battlefield, they are cynically destroying the civilian population.

“This is an evil without limits. And if it is not punished, then it will never stop.”

The attack on the train station occurred just hours before European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was scheduled to travel by train to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to engage in talks with Zelensky.

Von der Leyen posted an image of herself stepping off a train en route to Kyiv with the European Union’s top foreign policy official, Josep Borrell.

Zelensky formally applied for Ukraine to join the EU not long after the Russian war began on Feb. 24. The alliance has indicated that it will accept Ukraine into the 27-member bloc, a process that typically takes years.

Meanwhile Friday, Russian forces kept up attacks in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. The regional military governor said Russia has used artillery, mortars, tanks and multiple rocket launchers in the area. He reported more than a dozen injuries.

According to British military intelligence, Russian troops that attacked Ukraine from the north have not withdrawn back into Belarus, but some have been redeployed into eastern Ukraine. Analysts said those troops traveling east needed significant replenishment.

The British officials said Moscow remains in control of the southern city of Izium and Russian troops are advancing in the southern region of Ukraine.

This article originally appeared on UPI.

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