Ukraine update: Rocket attack on train station kills dozens of Ukrainians; UN calls for power plant demilitarization

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


At least 25 Ukrainians were killed when a Russian rocket attack tore through a train station in the town of Chaplyne in Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region, located some 90 miles west of Russian-occupied Donetsk, the Associated Press reported.

Among the dead were two children, aged six and 11. The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, also reported that 31 people were injured in the attack. Rescue workers continued digging through the rubble to search for survivors into Thursday morning.

Ahead of the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the Kremlin was likely to perpetrate “something particularly cruel” this week as Ukraine marked its 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, which happened to fall on the six-month mark of Russia’s invasion.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Tymofiy Mylovanov expressed outrage over the attack, calling Russia a “terrorist state” that “has no place in the civilized world” in a tweet.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also denounced the attack on Twitter.

Russia continues to deny that its forces target civilians and claims railways are legitimate military targets since they are used to supply Ukraine with weapons from the West. 

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that Russia uses precision strikes on Ukrainian military targets, claiming that “everything is done to avoid civilian casualties.” The remarks were delivered during a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Eurasian security and economic bloc dominated by Russia and China.

“Undoubtedly, it slows down the pace of the offensive, but we do it deliberately,” he added.

UN Human Rights chief calls on Moscow to demilitarize nuclear power plant

Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russian shelling left three people dead and one wounded overnight in the eastern region of Donetsk, according to regional Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko.

Meanwhile, fears of a possible catastrophic disaster surrounding the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant remain high as Europe’s largest nuclear power station came under Russian shelling again overnight.

The U.N.’s human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to “halt armed attacks against Ukraine,” and said the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant must be demilitarized, Reuters reported.

“The international community must insist on documentation” to be able to one day prove war crimes, added Bachelet in a speech on Thursday marking the end of her term as the United Nations high commissioner for human rights.

Bachelet also decried Russia’s actions since the Feb. 24 invasion as “unimaginably horrifying.” 

India votes against Russia for the first time during UNSC ‘procedural vote’

For the first time since the war began, India sided with Ukraine in a procedural vote at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to discuss the conflict, according to India TV. Until this point, India has refused to denounce Russia’s actions toward Ukraine, much to the consternation of the West.

The surprising move came during a procedural vote on whether to make an exception to the council’s in-person meeting rule to allow President Zelenskyy to attend by video. Russia objected to the special provision and China abstained.

New Delhi has stopped short of criticizing Russia’s invasion, though it has expressed support for diplomatic efforts to end the war.

India is a non-permanent member of the UNSC. Its two-year term will end in December.