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Dozens feared dead as rockets hit train station in east Ukraine

More than 30 people have been killed and over 100 wounded by a Russian rocket strike on a railway station in east Ukraine where civilians were trying to evacuate to safer parts of the country, according to the state railway company.

Ukrainian soldiers clear out bodies after a rocket attack killed at least 35 people on April 8, 2022 at a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was being used for civilian evacuations.
Ukrainian soldiers carry one of the casualties from the rocket strike on the train station in Kramatorsk. Photo: AFP

"Two rockets hit Kramatorsk railway station," Ukrainian Railways said in a statement.

It later added: "According to operational data, more than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded in the rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station."

Reuters could not verify the information. Russia did not immediately comment on the reports of the attack and the casualty toll.

Calcinated cars are pictured outside a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was being used for civilian evacuations, after it was hit by a rocket attack killing at least 35 people, on April 8, 2022.
Calcinated cars are seen outside a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, after it was hit by a rocket attack. Photo: AFP

Moscow has denied targeting civilians since invading Ukraine on February 24.

Donetsk region Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said thousands of people had been at the station when the rockets struck.

"The 'Rashists' ('Russian fascists') knew very well where they were aiming and what they wanted: They wanted to sow panic and fear, they wanted to take as many civilians as possible," he said.

Ukrainian police inspect the remains of a large rocket with the words
The remains of the Russian rocket near the train station. Photo: AFP

Kyrylenko published a photograph online showing several bodies on the ground beside piles of suitcases and other luggage. Armed police wearing flak jackets stood beside them.

Another photo showed rescue services tackling what appeared to be a fire, with a pall of grey smoke rising into the air.

Reuters could not immediately verify the photos.

Three trains carrying evacuees were blocked in the same region of Ukraine on Thursday after an air strike on the line, according to the head of Ukrainian Railways.

Ukrainian officials say Russian forces have been regrouping for a new offensive, and that Moscow plans to seize as much territory as it can in the eastern part of Ukraine known as Donbas, which borders Russia.

Local authorities in some areas have been urging civilians to leave while it is still possible and relatively safe to do so.

KRAMATORSK, UKRAINE - APRIL 6: Civilians gather at the train station to be evacuated from combat zones in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, in eastern Ukraine on April 6, 2022.
The Kramatorsk station has been packed with civilians for days as people try and flee the Donbas region. Photo: AFP

Earlier today Russia admitted suffering "significant losses of troops" in Ukraine, as the invasion enters its 44th day.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told British channel Sky News the casualties were "a huge tragedy for us".

He said he hoped Moscow would reach its war goals "in the coming days".

Russia has pulled troops away from Kyiv and shifted most of the focus of its war to eastern Ukraine - but the fighting shows no signs of ending.

Peskov's comments followed Russia's expulsion from the United Nations Human Rights council on Wednesday.

-Reuters / BBC

source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/464937/dozens-feared-dead-as-rockets-hit-train-station-in-east-ukraine