Kramatorsk railway station attack

missile strike against civilians in April 2022 in Ukraine

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Kramatorsk railway station attack
Part of the Eastern Ukraine offensive
Окупанти вдарили «Точкою-У» по залізничному вокзалу Краматорська 03.jpg
TypeMissile attack, using cluster munition
Location
48°43′34″N 37°32′34″E / 48.72611°N 37.54278°E / 48.72611; 37.54278Coordinates: 48°43′34″N 37°32′34″E / 48.72611°N 37.54278°E / 48.72611; 37.54278
Date8 April 2022
ca. 10:30 (UTC+3)
Executed byRussian Armed Forces
Casualties57 killed
109 injured
Kramatorsk railway station attack is located in Ukraine
Kramatorsk railway station attack
Location within Ukraine

A missile strike by Russian armed forces[1][2] hit the railway station of the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on 8 April 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As of 10 April, Ukrainian officials reported that 57 people were killed and 109 wounded as a result of the attack.[3][4]

Background

As part of the Russian invasion started on 24 February 2022, Russian forces allied with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics led an offensive aimed at seizing the Ukrainian-controlled portions of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stationed in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk played a key role in resisting this offensive.[5]

Attack

Debris from one of the missiles, with the railway station visible in the background. The top half of the inscription ЗА ДЕТЕЙ is visible.
Victims of the attack.

According to the Ukrainian government, between 1,000 and 4,000 civilians, mainly women and children, were present at the station waiting for evacuation from Kramatorsk, due to it being near the front lines of the conflict.[6][7]

Two missiles hit near the railway station building in Kramatorsk at approximately 10:30,[8] and the first reports were published in Ukrainian media at around 10:45.[9] At 10:24 and 10:25, media affiliated with the People's Republic of Donetsk had published videos showing the launching of a pair of missiles from Shakhtarsk, a city under separatist control.[9]

A World Central Kitchen aid worker, who witnessed the attack in Kramatorsk, said that he had heard "between five and ten explosions".[6] Reports described the scene as extremely bloody. Authorities said that several people had lost limbs in the explosion. Bodies of victims of the attack were lying at the site amid abandoned luggage.[5][10]

According to initial reports, at least 39 people were found dead at the scene (among them at least five children), but the casualty estimate was later raised to 52 as more survivors died of their injuries in the hospital.[11] The governor of Donetsk Oblast, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said on 10 April that 57 people had died as a result of the attack, and 109 had been injured.[4]

The missiles were initially misidentified as Iskander ballistic missiles.[12] Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of Donetsk oblast, later specified that they had rather been Tochka-U missiles armed with cluster munitions.[6]

One of the rockets had the Russian words ЗА ДЕТЕЙ (za detey), which means "[in revenge] for the children", painted in white on its outside.[13]

Responses

Emergency services at the scene of the incident.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described Russia as "an evil with no limits".[14]

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who visited Ukraine on the day of the attack, condemned the attack as "despicable".[15] French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the attack as a "crime against humanity", saying that it could not remain unpunished[16], while British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace condemned it as a war crime.[17]

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres described the missile strike as "completely unacceptable".[18]

Oleksandr Kamyshin, chairman of Ukrainian Railways, described the event as being a "targeted blow to the passenger infrastructure of the railway and the residents of the city of Kramatorsk".[19] The Security Service of Ukraine opened criminal proceedings under Article 438 of the Criminal Code.[20]

Royal United Services Institute analyst Justin Bronk said that Russia aims to damage Ukrainian transport infrastructure in order to make it difficult for Ukrainian forces to move around Donbas. He also suggested that Russia opted for that particular type of missile due to its presence in the Ukrainian army's arsenal, in order to "muddy the waters".[17]

Response by Russia and its supporters

Initially, Russian state media and pro-Russian Telegram channels[21][22] claimed successful Russian airstrikes on the Ukrainian military at the railway station of Kramatorsk. After it became clear that the missiles had killed civilians, however, earlier reports were redacted, the Russian government denied responsibility for the attack, and the Russian Ministry of Defence characterized it as a Ukrainian hoax.[21][23] The Russian Ministry of Defence claimed that the missiles were launched by Ukrainian forces from the neighbouring city of Dobropillia, southwest of Kramatorsk.[24][25]

A fake video clip with a mock BBC logo, attributing blame to the Ukrainian forces, was also aired on Russian state television, before spreading on social media. The BBC has not produced any such video.[26]

Assessment of the Russian response

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that their forces no longer use Tochka-U missiles; however, Amnesty International, the investigative journalists of the Conflict Intelligence Team, and a number of military experts had already reported the use of Tochkas by Russian forces in multiple parts of Ukraine prior to the strike on Kramatorsk.[27] Moreover, investigators from the open-source Belarusian Hajun Project had published videos of several Russian trucks with Tochka missiles heading from Belarus to Ukraine with 'V' markings on 5 March and 30 March.[28] In addition, the Institute for the Study of War assessed that the Russian 8th Guards Combined Arms Army, which is active in the Donbas area, is equipped with Tochka-U missiles.[29]

Prior events

On the night of 7 April, the pro-Russian Telegram channel ZАПИСКИ VЕТЕРАНА ("Veteran's Notes") warned civilians not to evacuate from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk on railways.[30][31][32][33][34][undue weight? ] At around 10:10 the next morning, shortly before the bombing of the railway station in Kramatorsk, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced that they had hit railway stations in Sloviansk, Pokrovsk, and Barvinkove with "high-precision air-based missiles".[35][25][36]

See also

References

  1. ^ Jonathan Beale (10 April 2022). "Ukraine war: Disbelief and horror after Kramatorsk train station attack". BBC. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Kramatorsk train station massacre sparks international outrage". Le Monde. 10 April 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Кількість загиблих у Краматорську зросла до 57". Інформаційне агентство Українські Національні Новини (УНН). Всі онлайн новини дня в Україні за сьогодні - найсвіжіші, останні, головні. (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-04-11.
  4. ^ a b "Death toll from Kramatorsk missile strike rises to 57, Ukraine official says". Reuters. 10 April 2022. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  5. ^ a b "'Evil that has no limits': Zelenskiy condemns Kramatorsk station attack". the Guardian. 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  6. ^ a b c "Kramatorsk: At least 1,000 at railway station when rockets hit - witness". BBC News. 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  7. ^ "Ukraine says at least 39 people killed in Russian rocket attack on Kramatorsk train station". CBS News. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  8. ^ "Kramatorsk station attack: What we know so far". BBC News. 2022-04-09. Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  9. ^ a b "По вокзалу Краматорска ударили ракетой с надписью «За детей». Погибли 50 человек (в том числе пять детей) Больницы не справляются с количеством раненых, заявил мэр Краматорска". Meduza (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  10. ^ "At Least 39 Dead In Russian Rocket Attack On Ukrainian Rail Station". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  11. ^ Laizans, Janis; Piper, Elizabeth (2022-04-08). "Ukraine and allies blame Russia for strike on station that killed over 50". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  12. ^ "About 30 people killed in Russian strike on a packed train station in eastern Ukraine". NPR. 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  13. ^ Isabel Van Brugen (8 April 2022). "Missile That Hit Ukrainian Civilian Station Had 'For Children' On it". Newsweek. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  14. ^ "'Russia, an evil with no limits': Zelenskyy on east Ukraine rocket attack". Hindustan Times. 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  15. ^ "'An abomination': World reacts to deadly Kramatorsk attack". Al Jazeera. 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Bombardement de Kramatorsk : Jean-Yves Le Drian dénonce un crime contre l'humanité". Europe 1 (in French). 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  17. ^ a b "Strike kills 50 at Ukraine rail station crowded with people". AP NEWS. 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  18. ^ "Missile kills at least 52 at crowded Ukrainian train station". AP NEWS. 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  19. ^ "Россия ударила ракетами по железнодорожному вокзалу Краматорска, 39 погибших, из них 4 – дети (обновлено)". Archived from the original on 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  20. ^ "В результате обстрела Краматорска уже известно о 39 погибших, среди которых 4 детей". Archived from the original on 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  21. ^ a b ""Точка У" разорвалась на вокзале в Краматорске, 52 человека погибли. Что известно о нападении и ракете". BBC News Русская служба (in Russian). 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  22. ^ "Russia accused of 'monstrous' war crime in Kramatorsk station attack". the Guardian. 2022-04-09. Retrieved 2022-04-11.
  23. ^ "Pro-Kremlin media U-turns over Kramatorsk station attack in Ukraine". Newsweek. 8 April 2022.
  24. ^ "Death toll in Kramatorsk railway station strike rises to 50, including 5 children". The Hindu. 8 April 2022. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  25. ^ a b "Ce que l'on sait du bombardement russe de la gare de Kramatorsk, dans l'est de l'Ukraine". L'Obs (in French). 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  26. ^ "BBC warns of fake video claiming Ukraine carried out Kramatorsk attack". The Guardian. 13 April 2022.
  27. ^ ""Точка У", "Калібри" та "Іскандери": якими ракетами Росія обстрілює міста України". BBC News Україна (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  28. ^ "Suspect Claim by Russia on Rockets That Killed Fleeing Civilians". POLYGRAPH.info. Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  29. ^ Mason Clark and Kateryna Stepanenko (2022-04-08). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 8". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  30. ^ "Russian War Report: Russia makes false claims while blaming Ukraine for Kramatorsk railway station attack". Atlantic Council. 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  31. ^ ""Точка У" разорвалась на вокзале в Краматорске, 52 человека погибли. Что известно о нападении и ракете". BBC News Русская служба (in Russian). 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  32. ^ uz, Kun. "В Минобороны РФ заявили, что «Точка-У» не стоит на вооружении России. Правда ли это?". Kun.uz (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  33. ^ Разборы (2022-04-09). "Ракетный удар по вокзалу в Краматорске, откуда люди пытались эвакуироваться. Главное — Разборы на TJ". TJ. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  34. ^ "В россии отрицают, что нанесли ракетный удар по Краматорску - факты говорят, что рф врет". news.pn (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  35. ^ "Kramatorsk train station massacre sparks international outrage". Le Monde.fr. 2022-04-10. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  36. ^ "Вторжение в Украину. 44‑й день войны". Медиазона (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-04-09.
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