Usually thrifty in words, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was quick to call the attack a “crime against humanity” after hundreds of civilians waiting for a train in Kramatorsk , in eastern Ukraine on Friday, were targeted by missile strikes.
Here is what we know about this tragedy which claimed the lives of at least 50 people, including five children, according to a still provisional report at the end of the afternoon.
Civilians who wanted to flee the East
Kramatorsk is an industrial city of some 150,000 inhabitants. Regional capital of the Donetsk oblast, it is located, like the territory of Lugansk, in the Russian-speaking mining basin of Donbass (eastern Ukraine) under the control of kyiv.
This Friday morning, April 8, several hundred civilians, including women and children, had gathered in and around the station to flee eastern Ukraine, the target of Russian forces.
After the attack, the emergency services mentioned at least 50 dead, including five children and 98 injured, who were hospitalized. The governor of the region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, has indicated that 38 people were killed “on the spot” and 12 others died of their injuries.
Journalists from Agence France-Presse, present on the spot, say they have seen at least thirty bodies in body bags in front of the station. From concordant sources, it is also known that on the sides of the missile found by the authorities, is the message “For our children”, written in Russian.
Russia accuses Ukraine
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the “unlimited evil” of a Russia with “inhuman” methods, Moscow for its part immediately denied being responsible for the attack.
The Kremlin has indeed claimed not to be equipped with the type of missile that would have been used, and therefore denounced a Ukrainian “provocation”. Clearly, Russia accused the Ukrainian armed forces of knowingly firing a missile at the crowded station.
“The aim of the strike orchestrated by the kyiv regime on the Kramatorsk railway station was to prevent the departure of the population of the city in order to be able to use it as a human shield”, thus launched the Russian Ministry of Defense. .
While Moscow is increasingly the subject of accusations of atrocities and war crimes, particularly in Boutcha, 30 kilometers northwest of kyiv, or in the neighboring town of Borodyanka, where the toll is ” much more horrible” according to President Zelensky, Russian officials did not hesitate to instruct kyiv to be in charge.
The international community revolted
Present in kyiv, the head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, “strongly condemned” a “blind attack”.
On the side of the French authorities, in addition to the reaction of Jean-Yves Le Drian for the Quai d’Orsay, it is the head of state himself who denounced, on Twitter, an “abominable” attack. “Ukrainian civilians are fleeing to escape the worst. Their weapons? Strollers, stuffed animals, luggage. This morning, at Kramatorsk station, the families who were about to leave experienced horror. Dozens dead, hundreds injured. Abominable,” wrote Emmanuel Macron on Twitter.
Ukrainian civilians are fleeing to escape the worst. Their weapons? Strollers, stuffed animals, luggage. This morning, at Kramatorsk station, the families who were about to leave experienced horror. Dozens dead, hundreds injured. Abominable.
—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 8, 2022
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced for his part an increase in British military aid to Ukraine, with the dispatch of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, after the attack described as “reckless” against the station from Kramatorsk.
“Russia’s crimes in Ukraine will not go unpunished,” warned the British leader during a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who for his part denounced “appalling” bombings.
US President Joe Biden, who three weeks ago did not hesitate to call Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” even if it meant causing a stir within his own administration, for his part accused Russia of having committed a “horrible atrocity”.
“The attack on a Ukrainian train station is another horrific atrocity committed by Russia, hitting civilians who were trying to evacuate and get to safety,” he said, also speaking on the network. Twitter social.