CHERNIHIV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukrainian leaders have predicted that more gruesome searches will be carried out in cities and towns as Russian troops return to focus on eastern Ukraine, where officials said more than 30 civilians were killed. A Russian rocket attacks a packed train station used for evacuation. People Friday.
Hours after warning that Ukraine’s military had already found worse scenes of brutality in a settlement north of Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky said “thousands” of people were at the station in Kramatorsk, a city in the eastern Donetsk region, when It was hit by a missile.
Zelensky accompanied a social media post with photos showing a train car with broken windows, abandoned luggage and bodies of what looked like an outdoor waiting area. Officials said more than 100 people were injured in the attack.
“The 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,” said the president. “This is an evil without limits. . And if it is not punished, it will never stop. ,
After failing to take Ukraine’s capital, 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 some areas have been taken over. are controlling.
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. Kramatorsk is located in the territory controlled by the government.
In his nightly video address, Zelensky predicted that even more terrifying discoveries would be made in northern cities and towns, with the Russians focusing on eastern Ukraine. He said evidence of civilians being killed at close range in Bucha and being dumped on the streets had already turned worse in Borodianka, 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 since Russia invaded Ukraine. “What the world saw on every street in Buka and other cities in the Kyiv region after the Russian troops left. Same cruelty. Same terrible crime. ,
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.
In his nightly address, Zelensky said that Buka’s horrors could only be beginning. In the northern city of Borodienka, just 30 kilometers (20 mi) northwest of Bucha, he warned of even more casualties, saying “it’s much more dire there.”
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 has falsely claimed that Scenes staged in Buka,
A Kremlin spokesman said on Thursday that Russia had suffered a significant number of 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 Sky News.
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.”
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 that there would be shelling again in the morning, so I decided to leave.”
Hundreds of people have fled villages in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions that are either under attack or held by Russian forces.
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 shells which 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.
The United Nations estimates that the war has displaced at least 6.5 million people within the country.
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 on Thursday that he “Not optimistic” about securing a ceasefire After meeting with officials in Kyiv and in Moscow this week, noting the lack of trust between the sides. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke hours after accusing Ukraine of backtracking on proposals made on Crimea and the military situation in Ukraine.
Two top EU officials and Slovakia’s prime minister traveled to Kyiv on Friday to shore 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 have trade and humanitarian aid proposals for Zelensky and his government.
Part of this, Hager says, is “offering options for transporting grains, including wheat.” Ukraine is a major world wheat supplier and Russia’s war on Ukraine is creating shortages, especially in the Middle East.
the western countries extended the restrictionsAnd the grouping of seven major world powers warned they would continue to take measures until Russian troops leave Ukraine.
US Congress voted on Thursday suspending normal trade relations with Russia and imposing sanctions on its oil importsWhile the European Union has approved other new steps, including a Coal import ban, Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly voted World Organization to suspend Russia from major 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 people being raped, tortured, hanged – in some cases desecrating their bodies – are a disgrace to our common humanity,” Biden said.
Shrek reported from Kyiv, Ukraine. Associated Press journalists from around the world contributed to this report.