Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pledged vengeance over the death of 25 people and several more injured following a Russian attack on a train station in eastern Ukraine on the country’s Independence Day on Wednesday.
The president said several Russian rockets blew the train station in the small town of Chaplyne in the eastern part of the country, with at least five being burned inside a train car.
This comes after weeks of warnings from military officials that Russia could be launching attacks on Ukrainian Independence Day, which occurred simultaneously with the six-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
“As of this moment, there are 25 dead, five of them burned in the car, an 11-year-old boy died, a Russian missile destroyed his house,” Zelensky said on Wednesday.
“Search and rescue operations at the railway station will continue. We will definitely make the occupiers bear responsibility for everything they have done. And we will certainly drive the invaders out of our land.” he added.
Ukraine had readied for possible attacks on its Independence Day, banning celebrations and events in the capital city of Kyiv and Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.
“One of the key tasks of the enemy is to humiliate us, Ukrainians, to devalue our capabilities, our heroes, to spread despair, fear, to spread conflicts,” Zelenskky said over the weekend.
“Therefore, it is important never, for a single moment, to give in to this enemy pressure, not to wind oneself up, not to show weakness.” he added.
According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, since Russian invasion on Ukraine in February, more than 5,580 Ukrainians have been killed and another 7,890 injured.