A Russian missile at a railway station in Ukraine's Kramatorsk city killed 30 people and wounded more than a hundred, according to authorities.
The train was packed with people wanting to evacuate from the city in the Eastern Ukraine - the part of the country where the Russians are now deploying after moving away from the capital Kyiv and surrounding areas.
Following the Russian withdrawal from around Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities have reported Russian atrocities and have warned more gruesome discoveries would be made in reclaimed cities and town.
Hours after warning that Ukraine's forces already had found worse scenes of brutality in a settlement north of Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that “thousands” of people were at the station in Kramatorsk, a city in the eastern Donetsk region, when it was hit by a missile.
Zelenskyy accompanied a social media post with photos that showed a train car with smashed windows, abandoned luggage and bodies lying in what looked like an outdoor waiting area. Authorities said the strike wounded more than 100 people.
russians carried out two missile stikes on railway station in Kramatorsk, where evacuation of civillians was taking place. But russian war criminals not only deliberately targeted thousands of people; they've used cluster munitions.— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 8, 2022
More than 30 killed
More that 100 injured pic.twitter.com/oj9zMCdIlz
Zelenskyy said, "The inhuman Russians are not changing their methods. 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.”
After failing to take Ukraine's capital, Russia has shifted its focus to the Donbas, a mostly Russian-speaking, industrial region in eastern Ukraine where Moscow-backed rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces for eight years and control some areas.
Ukrainian officials warned residents this week to leave as soon as possible for safer parts of the country and said they and Russia had agreed to establish multiple evacuation routes in the east. Kramatorsk is located in government-controlled territory.
In his nightly video address, Zelenskyy predicted more gruesome discoveries would be made in northern cities and towns the Russians withdrew from the concentrate on eastern Ukraine. He said evidence of civilians killed at close range and dumped on streets in Bucha already had surfaced in a worse way in Borodianka, another settlement outside the capital.
He said, “And what will happen when the world learns the whole truth about what the Russian troops did in Mariupol?” Zelenskyy was referring to the besieged southern port that has seen some of the greatest suffering since Russia invaded Ukraine.
He added, “There on every street is what the world saw in Bucha and other towns in the Kyiv region after the departure of the Russian troops. The same cruelty. The same terrible crimes.”
Spurred by reports that Russian forces committed atrocities in areas surrounding the capital, NATO nations agreed to increase their supply of arms after Ukraine's foreign minister pleaded for weapons from the alliance and other sympathetic countries to help face down an expected offensive in the east.
Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said investigators found at least three sites of mass shootings of civilians during the Russian occupation. Most victims died from gunshots, not from shelling, he said, and some corpses with their hands tied were “dumped like firewood” into mass graves, including one at a children's camp.
Fedoruk said 320 civilians were confirmed dead as of Wednesday, but he expected more as bodies are found in the city that was home to 50,000 people. Only 3,700 remain, according to him.
In his nightly address, Zelenskyy said Bucha's horrors may be only the beginning. In the northern city of Borodianka, just 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Bucha, he warned of even more casualties, saying “there it is much more horrible”.
Ukrainian and several Western leaders have blamed the massacres on Moscow's troops. The weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported Germany's foreign intelligence agency intercepted radio messages among Russian soldiers discussing killings of civilians. Russia has falsely claimed that the scenes in Bucha were staged.
With AP inputs