In a statement strongly condemning the attack on Ukraine’s Kramatorsk Train Station Attack, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “The attack on the railway station today, which resulted in the deaths and injuries of many civilians awaiting deportation, including many women, children and the elderly, and other attacks against civilians and civic infrastructure, is totally unacceptable. It is a gross violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, for which the perpetrators must be held accountable.”
He reminded all parties of the conflict of their responsibility under international law to protect civilians and the urgency of agreeing to cease humanitarian action to facilitate safe evacuation and the necessary access to aid for people trapped in conflict.
Ukraine called for more weapons and harsher sanctions after it blamed Russia for a missile attack that killed at least 52 people at a train station packed with women, children and the elderly fleeing the threat of a Russian offensive in the east. President Volodymyr Zelensky called the strike in Kramatorsk in the eastern region of Donetsk a deliberate attack on civilians. The city’s mayor estimated about 4,000 people were gathered there at the time.
The railway station was hit at about 10:30 local time (07:30 GMT) on Friday; Donetsk Regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on his Telegram page that the death toll had risen to 50. He said that five children were among the dead. The station was hit by a Tochka U short-range ballistic missile containing cluster munitions, which explode in mid-air, spraying small lethal bomblets over a wider area, he added.
About 100 people were injured, a number of them seriously, local officials said. There are fears that the death toll will climb even further.
Amin Awad, the UN’s Ukraine crisis coordinator, said in a statement that many people were seriously injured at the train station and the death toll could rise.
Awad pointed out that the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas with widespread effects is a clear violation of international humanitarian law. All militaries, in all conflicts, must refrain from attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. They must do the best they can to protect civilians.
Over the past week, UNICEF has delivered approximately 50 metric tonnes of life-saving supplies, including medicines, water and hygiene kits, to respond to the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the east.