ukrainian presidentsaid he wants a tough global response after a missile hit a train station packed with civilians trying to escape an impending Russian offensive, killing at least 52 people. Zelenskyy’s voice rose with anger during his late-night speech on Friday night, when he said that the strike in the in the East it amounted to another war crime to be considered by an international tribunal.
Five children were among the dead and dozens of people were seriously injured, Ukrainian officials said.
“All world efforts will be directed at establishing every minute who did what, who gave what orders, where did the missile come from, who transported it, who gave the command and how this attack was agreed upon,” the president said.
Russia denied responsibility for the attack and accused the Ukrainian military of firing the missile as a false flag operation to blame Moscow for the killings of civilians. A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry detailed the trajectory of the missile and the positions of the Ukrainian troops to strengthen the argument.
Ukraine’s state railway company said in a statement that residents of the country’s disputed Donbas region, where Russia has refocused its forces after failing to take the Ukrainian capital kyiv, could flee through other train stations. Saturday.
“The railways are not stopping the task of getting everyone to safety,” the statement on the Telegram messaging app said.
Photos taken after Friday’s missile attack showed bodies covered in tarpaulins and the remains of a rocket painted with the words “For the children” in Russian. The specific Russian phrase is closer in meaning to “on behalf of children” or “in retaliation for an attack on children”, rather than “aimed at children”.
The attack came as workers in other parts of the country unearthed at least 67 bodies from a mass grave near a church in, a city near kyiv, where graphic evidence of dozens of killings has emerged following the withdrawal of Russian forces. Russia has falsely claimed that the scenes in Bucha were staged.
Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk has said investigators found at least three sites of mass shootings of civilians and continued to find bodies in city yards, parks and squares, 90% of whom were victims who had been shot.
Some of the most lurid evidence so far has been found in Bucha and other towns around kyiv, from where Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops have withdrawn in recent days. An international organization formed to identify the dead and missing from the 1990s Balkan conflicts is sending a team of forensic experts to Ukraine to help put names to otherwise anonymous bodies amid the fog of war
In an interview excerpted with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Friday, Zelenskyy cited communications intercepted by the Ukrainian security service as evidence of Russian war crimes.
“There are (Russian) soldiers talking to their parents about what they stole and who they kidnapped. There are recordings of (Russian) prisoners of war admitting to killing people,” he said. “There are pilots in prison who had maps with civilian targets to bomb. There are also investigations being carried out based on the remains of the dead.”
Zelenskyy’s comments echoed reports in the German news magazine Der Spiegel that Germany’s foreign intelligence agency had intercepted Russian military radio traffic in which soldiers may have discussed the killings of civilians in Bucha. . The weekly also reported that the recordings indicated that the Russian mercenary Wagner Group was involved in atrocities there.
German government officials neither confirmed nor denied the report, but two former German ministers filed a war crimes complaint Thursday. Russia has denied that her military was involved in war crimes.
After failing to occupy kyiv in the face of stiff resistance, Russian forces have set their sights on Donbas, the largely Russian-speaking industrial region where Moscow-backed rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces for eight years and control parts of the area.
Although the Kramatorsk railway station is in Ukrainian government-controlled territory in Donbas, the separatists, who work closely with Russian troops, blamed Ukraine for the attack.
Western experts, however, rejected Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s claim that Russian forces “do not use” Tochka-U missiles, the type that hit the station. A Western official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence, told the Associated Press that Russian forces have used the missile and that, given the location and impact of the attack, it was likely from Russia.
Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, pointed to other occasions where Russian authorities have tried to deflect blame by claiming that their forces are no longer using an older weapon “to muddy the waters and try to create doubt.” . He “he suggested that Russia specifically chose the Tochka-Us because Ukraine also possesses them.
Ukrainian authorities and Western officials have repeatedly accused Russian forces of committing atrocities in the war that began with Russia’s invasion on February 24. A total of 176 children have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the war, while 324 more have been injured, the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office said on Saturday.
Ukrainian authorities have warned that they expect to find evidence of more mass killings once they reach the southern port city of Mariupol, which is also in Donbas and has been the subject of a month-long Russian blockade.
A senior US defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal military assessments said Friday that the Pentagon believes Russia has lost 15% to 20% of its overall combat power since it War has started. While some combat units are withdrawing to resupply in Russia, Moscow has added thousands of troops around Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, in the country’s east, the official said.
Ukrainian officials have pleaded almost daily with Western powers to send more weapons and punish Russia further with sanctions, including the exclusion of Russian banks from the global financial system and a full European Union embargo on gas and oil. Russian oil.
In Kharkiv, Lidiya Mezhiritska stood in the rubble of her house after overnight missile strikes turned it into rubble.
“The ‘Russian world,’ they say,” he said, ironically invoking Putin’s nationalist justification for invading Ukraine. “People, children, old people, women are dying. I don’t have a machine gun. I would definitely go (to fight), regardless of age.”