There are widespread reports that dozens have been killed and over 100 injured, mostly civilians, after what's being described as a Russian missile strike hit a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk.
"Russia hit the railway station in Kramatorsk today," Ukrainian police said in a statement. "The rocket hit the temporary waiting room, where hundreds of people were waiting for the evacuation train." Local authorities say they've counted about 30 among the dead.
The transport hub has been key for the evacuation of civilians fleeing fighting in the Donbas region, where Russia has of late concentrated most of its military operations, also as UK military intelligence on Friday said that its observed that Russian forces have now "fully withdrawn" in the north, going back to Belarus and Russian soil.
Police further said there's a frantic emergency response at the scene. "It is already known there about 30 dead people, including children, and about 100 injured," a statement said. "Assistance is being provided to all who need it." The city's mayor said it was "proof" that Russia is "barbarically" killing civilians.
Ukraine's Ministry of Defense said that Russian forces carried out two missile strikes on the train station at the very moment an evacuation was in progress. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement condemning it as an "evil that knows no bounds".
According to Fox News, "Images taken in recent days have depicted large crowds of Ukrainians standing on the station’s platforms hoping for a chance to escape Russia’s bloody invasion, which has now entered its 44th day."
Videos show the aftermath of a missile attack at a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, where more than 30 people were killed as they tried to escape the area. https://t.co/ND04YXyYeJ pic.twitter.com/xY6gueYXYL— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 8, 2022
The Kremlin was quick to respond, rejecting the allegations that it even fired missiles or artillery on the train station or in that direction. The surprising complete denial that its forces were at all operating against Kramatorsk was coupled with an accusation that it was a "provocation", with the full Kremlin statement as follows:
"All the statements of representatives of the Kyiv nationalist regime about the alleged 'missile attack' by Russia on April 8 at the railway station in Kramatorsk are a provocation and absolutely do not correspond to reality," the statement said.
"On April 8, the Russian armed forces did not conduct or plan any artillery fires in the city of Kramatorsk.
"We emphasize that the Tochka-U tactical missiles, the wreckage of which was found near the Kramatorsk railway station and published by eyewitnesses, are used only by the Ukrainian armed forces."
So it appears Moscow is alleging another false flag, similar to the recent back-and-forth between Russia and the West surrounding the events at Bucha.
My condolences to the victims' families of the missile attack on the train station in #Kramatorsk today. Yet another attack that killed dozens of innocent civilians who were only trying to escape the horrors of the war Russia started. pic.twitter.com/lncnDjuq9o— Michael Carpenter, U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE (@USAmbOSCE) April 8, 2022
US statements from top officials condemned the attack. The White House condemned the "horrific and devastating images" of the deadly train station strike.