Attack on a Ukrainian train station: 25 dead in the day 1 strike

Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022

Says Kyiv as Moscow claims to have killed some 200 Ukrainian soldiers; rockets hit Ukraine

People stand next to a residential house destroyed by a Russian military strike in Chaplyne, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

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People stand next to a residential house destroyed by a Russian military strike in Chaplyne, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

The Russian Defense Ministry said yesterday that its forces struck a train station in eastern Ukraine, confirming an attack which Kyiv said also hit a residential area and killed 25 civilians as the nation marked its day of independence.

In its daily briefing, the ministry said an Iskander missile on Wednesday hit a military train at Chaplyne station that was to deliver weapons to Ukrainian frontline forces in the eastern Donbass region.

Ukrainian presidential aide Kyrylo Tymoshenko said 21 people were killed when the strike hit the station and set fire to five carriages, while a boy died when a missile hit his nearby house. The death toll rose to 25 on Thursday after three more bodies were found in the rubble, he said.

The Russian ministry said some 200 Ukrainian servicemen died in the attack.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the information.

The attack on Chaplyne and the artillery bombardment of frontline cities including Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Nikopol and Dnipro followed President Volodymyr Zelensky’s warnings of Russian provocations ahead of the 31st anniversary of Russia’s declaration of independence. Ukraine from the Moscow-dominated Soviet regime.

August 24 also marked six months since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, sparking the most devastating conflict in Europe since World War II.

Fighting in the area near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, in eastern Ukraine has become a major source of concern in recent weeks, with Moscow and Kyiv accusing each other of risk a disaster by bombing the plant.

The United Nations has called for the demilitarization of the area and its nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is seeking access.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told a French broadcaster yesterday that the agency was “very, very close” to being able to visit the plant, captured by Russian forces in March but still run by Ukrainian technicians.

However, the Ukrainian nuclear company said yesterday that the nuclear power plant was disconnected from the national power supply.

“The actions of the invaders caused a complete disconnection of the (Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant) from the power grid – the first in the history of the plant,” Energoatom said on Telegram.

As rescue operations wrapped up in Chaplyne, residents of the small town, located about 145km (90 miles) west of Russian-occupied Donetsk, mourned their loved ones amid the rubble of their destroyed homes .

Local resident Sergiy lost his 11-year-old son in the strike. “We looked for him out there in the ruins, and he was lying here. Nobody knew he was here. Nobody knew,” he said, crouching down beside her covered body.

Russia denies targeting civilians. He also said that the railway infrastructure is a legitimate target since it is used to supply Ukraine with Western weapons.

After Zelenskiy informed the UN Security Council of the attack in a video message, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter: “Russia’s missile strike on a train station full of civilians in Ukraine fits a pattern of atrocities.”

In its daily briefing, Moscow also said it destroyed eight Ukrainian warplanes in strikes against airbases in Ukraine’s Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk regions. It would be one of the heaviest losses for the Ukrainian Air Force in recent weeks.

Ukrainian regional authorities reported Russian missile strikes in the Khmelnytskyi region, west of Kyiv and hundreds of kilometers from the front lines. No damage or casualties were reported.

In a move that could support Western estimates of heavy Russian casualties during the war, President Vladimir Putin yesterday signed a decree increasing the size of his armed forces to 2.04 million from 1.9 million.

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