Russia fires rockets at passenger train – killing 22 Ukrainians

Russian bombardment in Nikopol

The central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk is increasingly exposed to Russian attacks.

(Photo: AP)

Kyiv Following its Independence Day, Ukraine mourns the deaths of many in a Russian missile attack on a passenger train. President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of at least 22 deaths late Wednesday evening.

The train was hit near the town of Chaplyne in the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk. “Tschaplyne is our pain today,” said Selenski. As previously feared, there were heavy Russian attacks with rockets and cruise missiles in other parts of the country on the holiday, a symbolic date six months after the start of the war.

Ukraine celebrated the 31st anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union on Wednesday. On that historic date, the United States pledged $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine. The package is intended to defend Ukraine and modernize its army. US President Joe Biden wants to discuss details in a phone call with Zelenski on Thursday. For Ukraine it is the 183rd day of the war.

Zelensky: Ukraine will exist forever

“Our independence does not end and will never end,” said Zelensky in his video address on Wednesday evening. Despite the threatening situation, there will also be a 32nd Independence Day and a 33rd and all following. “Ukraine will last forever.”

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In view of the risk of Russian attacks, the usual military parades on the holiday had been canceled. Instead, destroyed Russian tanks and other captured war equipment were displayed on the main street Khreshchatyk in Kyiv.

Independence Day

Destroyed Russian tanks were laid out on the street in Kyiv on Independence Day.

(Photo: AP)

Many Ukrainians watched it. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came to Kyiv for his third wartime visit. Thousands of people in German cities and many other places around the world also showed solidarity with the attacked country.

Even though Russia tried to prevent it with an application, Zelensky spoke via video link to the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday. He stressed the global importance of countering the Russian invasion.

“Today our country celebrates Independence Day, and now everyone can see how much the world depends on our independence,” Zelenskiy said. If Russia is not stopped now, “Russian killers are likely to end up in other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America”.

First attack on a passenger train

In the six months since the invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops have often shelled railroad facilities to cut off Ukrainian supply routes. In April, a rocket hit the Kramatorsk station forecourt in the Donbass, according to Ukrainian sources, killing 57 people.

At Tschaplyne, however, a passenger train was hit for the first time. The first images that have not yet been verified showed several burned-out wagons on a railway embankment. Among the 22 dead, Selenski counted five victims who died in a car near the tracks.

Ukraine marks Independence Day in war

In another place in the Dnepropetrovsk region, according to the regional administration, an eleven-year-old child was killed by shelling. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that his army had slowed down its attacks to protect Ukrainian civilians.

Over the holiday there was repeated air alert in Ukraine. In the Khmelnytskyi region in the west of the country, heavy explosions were heard in the afternoon, according to Governor Serhiy Hamalij. A few minutes earlier, opposition Belarusian activists had allegedly registered the launching of four rockets from Belarus. Two Russian bombers also took off from there.

The information could not be independently verified. The ruler Alexander Lukashenko makes Belarus available to the Russian troops as a deployment area. The Ukrainian army, for its part, attacked Russian ammunition depots behind the front on Thursday night.

Armaments aid for three billion US dollars

With the money from the new US arms package, Ukraine could buy air defense systems, artillery systems and ammunition as well as drones and radar equipment “in order to be able to defend itself in the long term,” said Biden.

This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukraine war and the consequences:

The US President congratulated Ukraine on its anniversary. This shows “that Ukraine is proud to be a sovereign and independent nation – and will remain so”. The United States is determined to support the Ukrainian people in their struggle to defend their sovereignty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to believe that with the stronger will to fight, his country can triumph over Ukraine and the international community, a US Defense Department spokesman said. “This US package is tangible evidence that this is another Russian miscalculation.”

Baerbock: Have lost trust in Eastern Europe

Independence Day is an opportunity to examine how Ukraine can be supported, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) told ZDF’s “Heute-Journal” on Wednesday. New deliveries of arms from Germany, however, walk a “fine line” because the Bundeswehr itself is said to be inadequately equipped.

Annalena Bärbock

The foreign ministers stated that Germany had gambled away the reputation of its Eastern European neighbors.

(Photo: dpa)

Baerbock admitted that Germany’s reluctance to help Kyiv has ruined its reputation with its Eastern European neighbors. The insistence on the completion of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline also shattered China. “By sticking to Nord Stream 2, we have not listened to the concerns of our Baltic and Eastern European friends,” said the minister.

That will be important on Thursday

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions (ICBL-CMC) presents its annual report on the use of cluster munitions in Geneva. This refers to projectiles that release many small explosive devices shortly before impact, which disperse and pose an uncontrollable danger to people. According to the organization’s first findings, Russia has also used such ammunition in Ukraine.

More: Don’t miss any development – Everything new in our news blog about the Ukraine war

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