Russia’s strike on a Ukraine railway station on Wednesday killed at least twenty-five people and injured fifty, authorities in Kyiv said.
The strike occurred as the country marked six months since Moscow’s invasion, coinciding with the anniversary of its independence from Soviet rule.
Ukraine claims that five victims in the eastern village of Chaplyne were burned to death inside a car. Two boys, six and eleven years of age, were also killed.
President Volodymyr Zelensky made the strike announcement during a UN Security Council meeting.
As he was getting ready to address the Security Council, Zelensky claimed he was made aware of the attack in the Dnipropetrovsk region. He said, “This is how Russia prepared for the UN Security Council meeting. Four passenger carriages are on fire now…the number of fatalities could increase.”
Russia has not yet responded. In the past, it has consistently denied aiming at civilians.
World leaders celebrate Ukraine’s independence
Large crowds gathered in the streets all over the world on Wednesday to celebrate Ukraine’s independence. To commemorate the milestone, world leaders came together in support of the struggling nation.
However, it was rather peaceful in the streets of Kyiv. Large rallies and activities had been outlawed in Ukraine due to worries that Russia may target such gatherings of civilians. It happened after the US issued a warning for any of its nationals to depart before the anniversary.
In an unexpected visit to Kyiv, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged £54 million ($63.5 million) in new military aid, a sum that is small in comparison to the $3 billion in additional funding revealed by US President Joe Biden.
President Zelensky and his wife also attended a memorial service for the war’s deceased soldiers and civilians, laying yellow and blue flowers at Kyiv’s Memory Wall of Fallen Defenders in between his political speeches.
Update on military causalities
Earlier this week, in their first overdue update on military casualties, Ukrainian officials reported that over nine thousand soldiers had died in the fight in the first six months, though the figure could not be independently verified.
Despite the setbacks, the Ukrainian President vowed to reclaim the entire country “without any concessions or compromises.”
He said, “We don’t know these words—they were destroyed by missiles on 24th February.”
“The enemy thought we would greet them with flowers and champagne…but received wreaths and Molotov cocktails instead,’’ Zelensky said.
Thirty-one years have passed since Ukraine proclaimed its independence from the Soviet Union, and six months have passed since Russia began its invasion.