War in Ukraine: Zelenskyy calls the Kramatorsk train station attack a war crime

Published April 9, 2022 at 8:38 AM EDT
A Russian missile hit a train station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk as thousands of people were trying to evacuate, according to Ukrainian officials.
Fadel Senna
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AFP via Getty Images
A Russian missile hit a train station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk as thousands of people were trying to evacuate, according to Ukrainian officials.

Ukrainian officials have said at least 52 people — including five children — were killed in Friday's attack at a train station in eastern Ukraine. The country's leader, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says it's the latest war crime committed by Russia.

Here's more context to understand Ukraine and the impact of the invasion:

Follow the latest developments.

Missile attack

Evacuations have resumed after a rocket struck the Kramatorsk train station

Posted April 9, 2022 at 3:10 PM EDT
Destroyed cars are left outside a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, after Friday's attack that left at least 52 people dead, according to Ukrainian officials. Russia has denied responsibility for the strike.
Fadel Senna
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AFP via Getty Images
Destroyed cars are left outside a train station in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, after Friday's attack that left at least 52 people dead, according to Ukrainian officials. Russia has denied responsibility for the strike.

Ukrainian officials say that Russian troops are regrouping and that they will soon launch a full-scale attack in the eastern part of the country, and a day after a missile struck a train station in the town of Kramatorsk, evacuations have resumed. 

Local authorities say the station was badly damaged and remains closed. But other stations are still working.

The government says the Russian military is increasing shelling, so it wants to get civilians out. It says it will try to keep the remaining stations from getting too crowded to avoid mass casualties in case of another strike. 

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian department of health says that nearly 100 people are being treated at hospitals. Among them are 19 children, some of whom have had limbs amputated. Officials also say that about 20% of the patients are in critical condition. 

At least 52 people were killed in Friday's strike, according to Ukrainian officials.

Aid

The IMF has approved an account for donations to Ukraine

Posted April 9, 2022 at 12:14 PM EDT
People fleeing the Russian invasion wait to board a bus in Lviv, Ukraine, on Saturday that will take them to Poland.
Joe Raedle
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Getty Images
People fleeing the Russian invasion wait to board a bus in Lviv, Ukraine, that will take them to Poland, on Saturday.

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund has approved an account for Ukraine that would allow countries to donate aid.

"The Administered Account is intended to channel donor resources in the form of grants and loans aimed at assisting Ukraine to meet its balance of payments and budgetary needs and help stabilize its economy," the IMF said in a statement.

The creation of the account came at the request of several member countries.

Canada has proposed up to 1 billion Canadian dollars (nearly $800 million) in its federal budget for the account, according to the IMF.

The organization, established in 1944, is largely financed by its 190 member countries.

Diplomacy

Britain's Boris Johnson meets with Zelenskyy in a show of solidarity

Posted April 9, 2022 at 11:17 AM EDT
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (right) and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speak during a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday.
AP
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Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (right) and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speak during a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a trip to Ukraine and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The visit is intended to be a show of solidarity with Ukraine, according to The Associated Press.

On Friday, the United Kingdom announced it was sending more military aid to Ukraine, amounting to £100 million (about $130 million).

Human rights

Russia shuts down the offices of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch

Posted April 9, 2022 at 9:30 AM EDT
Tanya Lokshina, deputy director for Europe and Central Asia of Human Rights Watch, attends a news conference in Moscow on Nov. 18, 2021.
Alexander Nemenov
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AFP via Getty Images
Tanya Lokshina, associate director for Europe and Central Asia of Human Rights Watch, attends a news conference in Moscow on Nov. 18.

Russia has shut down the offices of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and several other international organizations.

The move followed Thursday's vote by the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council over "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" in Ukraine.

“Amnesty’s closing down in Russia is only the latest in a long list of organizations that have been punished for defending human rights and speaking the truth to the Russian authorities," Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch said it had maintained an office in Russia for 30 years.

“Human Rights Watch has been working on and in Russia since the Soviet era, and we will continue to do so,” said Kenneth Roth, the group's executive director. “This new iron curtain will not stop our ongoing efforts to defend the rights of all Russians and to protect civilians in Ukraine.”

Amnesty International said the Russian Ministry of Justice had removed the group's Moscow office from the registry of foreign groups allowed to operate in Russia.

The ministry said the move was “in connection with the discovered violations of the Russian legislation," according to Amnesty International.

Accusations

Zelenskyy says Friday's attack at a train station in eastern Ukraine was a war crime

Posted April 9, 2022 at 9:18 AM EDT
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gestures as he attends a press conference with Austria's chancellor in Kyiv on Saturday.
Ronaldo Schemidt
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AFP via Getty Images
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gestures as he attends a news conference with Austria's chancellor in Kyiv on Saturday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the Kramatorsk train station attack as one of "many other Russian war crimes."

At least 52 people were killed when a Russian missile hit the station in eastern Ukraine, where thousands of people were trying to evacuate, according to Ukrainian officials. Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.

"The missile strike on Kramatorsk must be one of the charges at the tribunal, which is bound to happen," Zelenskyy wrote on Facebook.

President Biden and other world leaders have called for a war crimes trial over atrocities allegedly committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, though experts told NPR that bringing Russian President Vladimir Putin to account — let alone enforcing any punishments — would be difficult.