Kyiv: A missile struck a crowded railway station in eastern Ukraine, an evacuation point for civilians, killing dozens, Ukrainian officials said on Friday after warnings that they were more likely to commit war crimes in parts of the country. Even worse evidence is expected that previously held by Russian troops. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said thousands of people were at the train station when the missile struck. The Russian Defense Ministry denied targeting the station in Kramatorsk, a city in the eastern Donetsk region, but Zelensky blamed Russia for what looked like an outside waiting area.

The president said on social media, “Inhuman Russians are not changing their ways. Without the strength or courage to stand before us on the battlefield, they are blatantly destroying the civilian population.” “It is an evil without a limit. And if it is not punished, it will never stop.” Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko later said 39 people were killed and 87 wounded. Ukraine’s prosecutor-general’s office said about 4,000 civilians were in and around the station, most of them women and children, calling for the Russian military to leave the area before the arrival.

“People just wanted to get away for evacuation,” Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova said while visiting Buka, a city north of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where journalists and returnees to Ukraine took to the streets and massacred after Russian troops withdrew. Discovered dead bodies in graves. Venediktova spoke as workers pulled corpses from a mass grave near a church during the rain. Black body bags were laid out in rows in the mud. None of the dead were Russian; he said. Most of them were shot. The Prosecutor General’s Office is investigating the deaths as possible war crimes.

After failing to take Ukraine’s capital and withdraw from northern Ukraine, Russia has shifted its focus to the Donbass, a mostly Russian-speaking, industrialized region in eastern Ukraine where Moscow-backed rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces for eight years. and controlling some areas. The railway station is located in an area controlled by the government. Ukrainian officials this week warned residents to leave for safer parts of the country as soon as possible, saying they and Russia had agreed to establish multiple evacuation routes to the east.

In his nightly video address, Zelensky predicted that there would be more gruesome searches in northern cities and towns if the Russians leave. He said horrific incidents had already been reported in Bucha in Borodyanka, another settlement outside the capital. “And what will happen when the world finds out the whole truth about what the Russian soldiers did in Mariupol?” Zelensky said late Thursday, referring to the besieged southern port, which has seen some of the greatest suffering during Russia’s invasion. “There, on every street, the world saw in Bucha and other cities of the Kyiv region…. Same cruelty. Same horrific crime.”

The Prosecutor General also expressed concern about the death toll in Borodyanka, where the process of exhuming bodies from shells and collapsed buildings has just begun. Venediktova said 26 bodies were found on Thursday from the ruins of just two buildings. “We don’t know what’s under these houses,” she said, adding that it could take two weeks to find out. Inspired by reports of atrocities by Russian forces in the areas around the capital, the NATO nations agreed to increase arms supplies after Ukraine’s foreign minister requested weapons from the Coalition and other sympathetic countries so that the former to help in the face of an expected attack.

Buka Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk said investigators found at least three sites of mass shootings of civilians during the Russian occupation. Most of the victims died of gunshots, not shelling, he said, and some corpses were tied with their hands “like firewood” and thrown into mass graves, including at a children’s camp. Fedoruk said 320 civilians had been confirmed dead as of Wednesday, but he expected more as bodies were found in the city where 50,000 people lived. Only 3,700 are left, he said. Ukraine and many Western leaders have blamed Moscow’s military for the massacre. The weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s foreign intelligence intercepted radio messages discussing civilian killings among Russian soldiers. Russia falsely claimed that the scenes were staged in Buka.

In a rare acknowledgment of the cost of war for Russia, a Kremlin spokesman said Thursday that the country has suffered major military casualties during a six-week military operation in Ukraine. “Yes, we have had a significant loss of troops and this is a great tragedy for us,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told British broadcaster Sky. Peskov also indicated that the fighting could end “in the near future”, telling Sky that Russian troops were “doing their best to end that operation.”

Asked about his remarks on Friday, Peskov said his reference to troop losses was based on recent data from the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry reported on March 25 that a total of 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed in Ukraine. “This is an important number,” Peskov said during his daily conference call with reporters. In anticipation of intense attacks by Russian forces, hundreds of Ukrainians fled the villages of the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions that were either under attack or occupied. Marina Morozova and her husband fled to Kherson, the first major city to fall under the Russians.

“They are waiting for a big fight. We saw that the shells did not explode. It was terrible,” she said. Morozova, 69, said only Russian television and radio were available. The Russians provided humanitarian aid, she said, and filmed the distribution. Concerned to be turned away by Russian troops, the couple and others boarded a van that would take them west. Some will try to leave the country, while others will remain in quieter parts of Ukraine. On Thursday, as Russian forces began shelling his village in the southern Mykolaiv region, 52-year-old Sergei Dubovyenko, accompanied by his wife and mother-in-law, headed north in their little blue Lada, where they sought refuge in a church.

“They started destroying houses and everything” in Pavlo-Marianovka, he said. “Then tanks appeared from the forest. We thought there would be shelling again in the morning, so I decided to leave.” The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said more than 4.3 million, half of them children, have left Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24 and sparked Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Was. The International Organization for Migration estimates that more than 1.2 million people are trapped in the areas of Ukraine under attack. The UN humanitarian chief told The Associated Press he was “not optimistic” about achieving a ceasefire after meeting with officials in Kyiv and Moscow this week, noting the lack of trust between the two sides.

Two top EU officials and Slovakia’s prime minister traveled to Kyiv on Friday to step up EU support for Ukraine. Prime Minister Eduard Hager said he, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell brought trade and humanitarian aid proposals for Zelensky and his government. Part of that, Hager says, “offers options for transporting grain, including wheat.” Ukraine is a major world wheat supplier and Russia’s war on Ukraine is creating shortages, especially in the Middle East.

Western countries have increased sanctions against Russia following alleged atrocities found on the outskirts of Kyiv. The European Union and Britain followed suit on Friday, a day after the United States banned the two adult daughters of President Vladimir Putin. The US Congress voted to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and ban imports of its oil, while the European Union approved a ban on coal imports. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the world organization’s leading human rights body. US President Joe Biden said the UN vote demonstrated how “Putin’s war has made Russia an international pariah.” He called the images coming from Buka “terrible”. “Signs of rape, torture of people,