A total of 6,665 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Friday, more than the 4,676 who escaped on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in an online post
Russia invades Ukraine: Biden accuses Russia of 'horrific atrocity' after rocket strike on a train station
US President Joe Biden on Friday accused Russia of carrying out a "horrific atrocity," after a rocket attack on a train station packed with conflict evacuees in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk left at least 50 dead.
More than a month into President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has shifted focus to the east and south of the country after resistance halted plans to swiftly capture the capital Kyiv.
"The attack on a Ukrainian train station is yet another horrific atrocity committed by Russia, striking civilians who were trying to evacuate and reach safety," Biden said on Twitter.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported 300 were injured, saying the strike showed "evil with no limits," though Russia's defence ministry denied carrying out the attack.
Biden, in a separate statement, thanked Slovakia for giving Ukraine a Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft air defense system, and vowed that "now is no time for complacency."
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has acknowledged that Russia has suffered “significant losses of troops” during its military operation in Ukraine.
“Yes, we have significant losses of troops and it is a huge tragedy for us,” Peskov said.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with British broadcaster Sky on Thursday, Peskov also hinted that the operation might be over “in the foreseeable future.”
The spokesman said that Russian forces were “doing their best to bring an end to that operation.”
“And we do hope that in coming days, in the foreseeable future, this operation will reach its goals, or we’ll finish it by the negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian delegation,” he added.
Ukraine and Russia are "constantly" holding peace talks online, Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said in televised comments on Friday.
However, the mood has been affected by events including the deaths of civilians in the town of Bucha, Podolyak said.
Ukrainian officials accuse Russian troops of carrying out extra-judicial killings in Bucha, outside Kyiv. Moscow denies targeting civilians in Ukraine and has said the deaths in Bucha were a "monstrous forgery" staged by the West to discredit it.
The New Arab is providing live updates of what's been happening on the ground and additional analysis on the conflict's significance.
Ukraine's prosecutor general says Kramatorsk station attack was a 'crime against humanity'
Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova on Friday said a deadly missile strike on a rail station packed with evacuees in the eastern city of Kramatorsk was a "crime against humanity."
At least 50 people were killed and dozens wounded in the attack that Ukrainian authorities say was carried out by Russian forces.
The Russian defence ministry has denied its troops were behind the strike.
Russians accused of using cluster munitions, slammed for Kramatorsk station strikes; Moscow pins the blame on Kyiv
The governor of Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region accused Russian forces of firing cluster munitions at a rail station in the city of Kramatorsk in an attack that killed at least 39 people.
Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko published a photograph online showing several bodies on the ground beside piles of suitcases and other luggage, but did not share what evidence he had of the type of weapon used for the attack.
"If at the beginning they exclusively ... targeted railway tracks, then now it's not only tracks, but also firing a missile containing cluster munitions which are meant for people. This is absolute confirmation that this (strike) was intended against civilians," Kyrylenko said in an online briefing.
The Russian missile attack on the Kramatorsk railway station, a hub for civilian evacuations, which left dozens of people killed and more than 100 injured, is one more atrocity committed by Russia in Ukraine. The world will hold Putin to account. pic.twitter.com/ImvaETl3GS— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) April 8, 2022
The US embassy in Ukraine described the attack on Friday as "one more atrocity" committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.
Russia denies targeting civilians and its defence ministry has said its forces were not behind the Kramatorsk attack and instead accused Ukraine of staging the attack on the station.
"The purpose of the Kyiv regime's attack on the railway station in Kramatorsk was to disrupt the mass exit of residents from the city in order to use them as a 'human shield' to defend the positions of Ukraine's armed forces," the defence ministry said in a statement.
The ministry claimed that the attack was carried out by Ukraine's forces from the town of Dobropillya, some 45 kilometres (27 miles) southwest of Kramatorsk.
EU, UK sanctions daughters of the Kremlin's top leaders
The EU and the UK announced sanctions against the daughters of the Kremlin's top leaders over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Both the European Union and Britain have sanctioned the daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin - Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova - while the UK has also sanctioned Yekaterina Vinokurova, the daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
BREAKING — The EU imposed sanctions on two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a new package of measures targeting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, according to two EU officials. — AP— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) April 8, 2022
The EU included Putin's daughters in its updated list of individuals facing an assets freeze and travel ban, while the UK's Foreign Office said it was targeting the "lavish lifestyles of the Kremlin's inner circle."
The new sanctions follow similar actions by the United States in targeting the three women.
Over 30 evacuees killed in Russian rocket strike on Ukrainian station, rail company says
More than 30 people were killed and over 100 were wounded in a Russian rocket strike on a railway station in east Ukraine on Friday as civilians tried to evacuate to safer parts of the country, the state railway company said.
It said two Russian rockets had struck a station in the city of Kramatorsk which is used for the evacuation of civilians from areas under bombardment by Russian forces.
Horrific images coming from Kramatorsk railway station this morning, after it was hit by a Tochka U missile as crowds gathered to evacuate to safer parts of Ukraine. I won't share the images here, but there's many dead and injured civilians.— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) April 8, 2022
"Two rockets hit Kramatorsk railway station," Ukrainian Railways said in a statement.
It later added: "According to operational data, more than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded in the rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station."
Russia did not immediately comment on the reports of the attack and the casualty toll. Moscow has denied targeting civilians since invading Ukraine on 24 February.
Three trains carrying evacuees were blocked in the same region of Ukraine on Thursday after an airstrike on the line, according to the head of Ukrainian Railways.
Ukrainian officials say Russian forces have been regrouping for a new offensive, and that Moscow plans to seize as much territory as it can in the eastern part of Ukraine known as Donbas bordering Russia.
Local authorities in some areas have been urging civilians to leave while it is still possible and relatively safe to do so.
UK says Russian forces have fully withdrawn from northern Ukraine
Russian forces have now fully withdrawn from northern Ukraine to Belarus and Russia, British military intelligence said on Friday.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 8 April 2022— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 8, 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/lrfW1pqwQe
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/WPHtWTQEnp
At least some of these Russian forces will be transferred to East Ukraine to fight in the Donbas, the Ministry of Defence said on Twitter. The forces will require replenishment before being deployed further east, with any mass redeployment from the north likely to take at least a week, the ministry added.
The ministry said Russian shelling of cities in the east and south continues and Russian forces have advanced further south from the city of Izium, which remains under their control.
Ukraine forces control Sumy region bordering Russia: governor
Ukrainian forces are in control of the entire northeast region of Sumy along the border with Russia, its governor said Friday, warning residents against returning while it was being cleared of mines.
"The area is free of orcs," Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky said on social media, referring to invading Russian troops. "The region is not safe. There are many areas that have been mined and are still not cleared," he said.