Ukrainian Train Station Attacked By Russia On Ukraine's Independence Day
CHAPLYNE, UKRAINE - On Ukraine's Independence Day, Wednesday, August 24th, A Russian missile strike hit a civilian train station in the small town of Chaplyne, which is in the central Dnipropetrovsk region. Originally it was reported that 15 were deceased and 50 were wounded. The death toll has risen to 22.
This is the 2nd attack on a train station since the war started on February 24th. On April 8th, 2022, Russia attacked the Kramatorsk railway station in a similar attack, according to the BBC.
On August 21st the Kyiv Post reported that all mass events have been banned from August 22nd to August 25th. It also quoted President Zelensky from his nightly address where he stated that "Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel."
Chaplyne, the location of the attack, is a small town with only around 3,500 people living there. The President's office also commented and said that in another attack that occurred today, an 11-year-old child was also killed by rocket fire.
Today's attack on the train station came as an airstrike, where missiles hit passenger cars. Search and Rescue teams have been on the scene and continue through the night and early morning, trying to locate survivors.
Since the announcement on August 21st, Ukraine had been bracing for an attack, but not only Ukraine. The United States Embassy also advised all U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine on ground transportation if it was safe, in anticipation of a heightened risk of attack, during the Ukrainian independence week, according to Politico.
Reuters has stated that air raid sirens were blaring in Kyiv, waking up residents, though no attack followed. Since the Russian regrouping of forces to the eastern Donbas, Kyiv has been left relatively intact up til now. The attacks came on Ukraine from west to east, with the airstrike on the train station being the most brutal.
Support reigned in from around the globe today for Ukraine. The United States President Joe Biden announced a $3 billion military aid package for the country, several EU leaders pledged their unilateral support, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his 3rd appearance in Kyiv to show the UK's support.
As residents of Kyiv ignored the gathering bans and the air raid sirens, Maiden square held thousands who came to celebrate and take pictures with abandoned Russian equipment, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement at the end of the Ukrainian independence day, President Zelensky made this statement:
"Fellow Ukrainians! It's almost night, our main day, Independence Day of Ukraine is coming to an end. But our independence does not end and will never end. And there will be our 32nd Independence Day, and 33rd, and all the following ones, as long as time on earth lasts. Ukraine will live forever. And it will only get stronger every day. And absolutely everyone in the world understands this, from the UN Security Council to all capitals without exception..."
According to Aljazeera, Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister, in a meeting of the UN Security Council, stated that the reason Russia has not made aggressive progress was a deliberate move to prevent civilian casualties, and as long as western countries continue to supply arms to Ukraine, the conflict will persist.
Ukraine has stated the opposite, saying Russia has deliberately targeted civilian areas where people were taking shelter, in such places as Mariupol.
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