The bombing of a train station in eastern Ukraine has sparked global condemnation and calls for accountability, after Ukrainian officials said the attack on Kramatorsk killed at least 52 people and injured others. hundreds more.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attack in the Donetsk region was a deliberate attack on civilians, accusing Russian forces of shooting “at an ordinary train station, at ordinary people”.
Thousands of people had gathered at the station in an attempt to flee, according to Ukrainian officials. Local Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said later Friday the death toll had risen to 52, including five children.
Moscow denied responsibility for the attack, saying the allegations were “completely false”.
Here’s a roundup of global reactions:
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell “strongly condemned” the attack, saying it was aimed at preventing civilians from escaping hostilities.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who visited Ukraine on Friday alongside Borrell and other European leaders, also condemned the train station attack as “despicable”.
“I am appalled at the loss of life and will personally extend my condolences to the President [Zelenskyy],” she wrote on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the families of the victims.”
I strongly condemn this morning’s indiscriminate attack on a train station in #Kramatorsk by Russia, which has killed dozens of people and injured many. This is yet another attempt to close escape routes to those fleeing this unjustified war and cause human suffering
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) April 8, 2022
US President Joe Biden said the attack was “another gruesome atrocity by Russia, hitting civilians trying to evacuate and get to safety”.
He pledged to continue to provide Ukraine with security assistance and weapons. “And, with our allies and partners, we will support efforts to investigate this attack as we document Russia’s actions and hold them accountable,” Biden tweeted.
The attack on a Ukrainian train station is another gruesome Russian atrocity, hitting civilians trying to evacuate and get to safety.
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 8, 2022
French President Emmanuel Macron said the deadly attack was an “abomination”.
“Ukrainian civilians are fleeing the worst. Their weapons? Strollers, stuffed animals and suitcases. At Kramatorsk station this morning, families waiting to leave suffered the unthinkable. Dozens dead, hundreds injured. It’s an abomination,” he tweeted.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian separately said the attack should be investigated as a “crime against humanity”.
“They hit a station where there are refugees, civilians and therefore it can be considered a crime against humanity,” Le Drian told France 5 television. “These crimes cannot go unpunished. Experts must get there quickly and document urgently to provide proof of crimes against humanity.
Ukrainian civilians are fleeing the worst. Their weapons? Strollers, stuffed animals and suitcases. At Kramatorsk station this morning, families waiting to leave suffered the unthinkable. Dozens dead, hundreds injured. It is an abomination.
—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 8, 2022
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the attack demonstrates “the depth to which [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s vaunted army has sunk”.
“It is a war crime to indiscriminately attack civilians, and Russia’s crimes in Ukraine will not go unnoticed or unpunished,” Johnson told a news conference, pledging to send $130 million. additional dollars of military support to Ukraine.
The United Nations
Spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the attack on Kramatorsk, as well as other attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure “are totally unacceptable”.
“These are flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, for which the perpetrators must be held accountable,” Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international law to protect civilians and the urgency to agree on humanitarian ceasefires to allow safe evacuation and humanitarian access populations caught in the trap of conflict. The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all parties concerned to put an immediate end to this brutal war.
The UN crisis coordinator for Ukraine, Amin Awad, also called for an immediate investigation. “It has been widely reported over the past two days that the station and its surroundings were full of civilians trying to flee the escalating hostilities,” Awad said in an earlier statement.
“We are extremely disturbed by reports of children, women, elderly and disabled people – the most vulnerable people in the Kramatorsk region – who have been caught up in this attack.”