The death toll from the Russian strike on a railway station in Ukraine rises

The death toll from the Russian strike on a railway station in Ukraine rises

Six months after the start of Moscow’s invasion of its lands, Ukraine witnessed, on Wednesday, coinciding with the anniversary of its independence, a Russian strike on a train station, killing at least 22 people, according to what President Volodymyr Zelensky announced.

“Chaplino is our pain today. Up to this moment there are 22 dead, including five who were burned inside a car. An 11-year-old boy died whose house was destroyed by a Russian missile,” the Ukrainian president said in his daily message, referring to the city in central Ukraine.

Earlier, Zelensky had spoken, in a video address to the Security Council, about a “Russian missile attack on a railway station in the Dnipropetrovsk region”, which killed at least 15 people and wounded about 50, and then announced that the number of victims had risen to 22.

He added that the strike was “directly on the carriages at Chaplino station. Four passenger carriages caught fire.”

“Rescuers rushed to the scene, but unfortunately the death toll may rise. This is our daily life,” the Ukrainian president added.

For his part, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres considered, on Wednesday, the six-month anniversary of the war in Ukraine, a “sad and tragic turning point.”

“Today marks a sad and tragic turning point, six months after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24,” Guterres told the Security Council.

He condemned the “consequences of this absurd war, outside the borders of Ukraine”, and reiterated his “deep concern” about the military actions around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

He added that “any further escalation of the situation may lead to self-destruction,” while the directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, and the Russian Atomic Agency, Rosatom Alexei Likhachev, met in Istanbul to discuss an inspection mission to inspect the plant.

take control

In Rome, Pope Francis again denounced the “madness of war” and called on Wednesday to “avoid the risk of a nuclear catastrophe in Zaporizhia”, the nuclear power plant in central Ukraine that Moscow and Kiev accuse each other of endangering.

In turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that Russia must “unconditionally stop nuclear blackmail” and “completely withdraw” from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

He stressed that “the International Energy Agency mission must establish as soon as possible its permanent control of the situation.”

Zelensky had said earlier, “We do not care about your army, we only care about our land. We will fight for it to the end,” explaining that it is about “the whole of Ukraine (…) without any concession or settlement”, including the Donbass Basin (east ), which has been partially controlled by Moscow-backed separatists since 2014, and Crimea, which Russia annexed in the same year.

In a symbolic gesture of Western support, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday paid a visit to Kyiv where he saluted the “strong will of the Ukrainians to resist” the Russian invasion, which he said Russian President Vladimir Putin “didn’t understand”.

Attacking health centers

Six months after the war and the fall of tens of thousands of deaths and massive destruction, the anniversary of the country’s independence in 1991, did not witness celebrations.

Zelensky and his wife saluted Ukrainian soldiers killed in action with a minute of silence and laid wreaths of the yellow and blue Ukrainian flag at a memorial in central Kyiv before attending a rally at the Hagia Sophia attended by leaders of major religious communities.

The Kyiv authorities, where anti-aircraft sirens sounded in the morning, banned all public gatherings from Monday to Thursday in the capital, while the governor of Kharkiv (central east) imposed a curfew from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning.

In the early hours of August 24, explosions were heard in several cities such as Kharkiv (northeast), Zaporizhia and Dnipro (central), according to local authorities.

“It’s sad to say that people are getting used to it and trying to continue to live in the same way,” said Mykola, a 33-year-old soldier in Mykolaiv, a city in the south of the country where rockets are fired daily.

For its part, the World Health Organization said Wednesday that about 500 attacks targeted health centers in Ukraine during the first six months of the Russian invasion, killing at least 98 people.

In Washington, White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters Wednesday, “We have information that Russia continues to prepare for sham referendums” in Kherson in southern Ukraine, Zaporizhia and in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as in Kharkiv.

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