Russia Launches Deadly Strike on Evacuee Train, Ukraine Says

Russian forces fired on a refugee evacuation train overnight, killing at least one person, according to a Ukrainian government official.

In a Sunday Facebook post, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the Donetsk regional administration, said Russian planes and artillery had struck in the north of the region.

A train from Kramatorsk, located in east Ukraine, to Lviv, 700 miles west, train was damaged at about 12 a.m. Sunday, he said, with one person killed and another injured.

Ukrainian Railways (UR) said in a separate Facebook statement that one of its conductors was killed and the injured woman was taken to Slovyansk Hospital for treatment.

A UR spokesperson said the train was also heading to Lyman station to evacuate residents in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Among those waiting to be rescued included dozens of children, according to the UR statement.

The spokesperson added: "This is a terrible blow to those who rescue civilian Ukrainians every day and paved the 'road of life' for more than 2 million rescued.

"Ukrzaliznystsia (Ukrainian Railways) is now making all efforts to evacuate the train crew of the damaged train and all passengers, including about 100 children waiting for rescue at the M. Lyman station."

Newsweek has contacted Kyrylenko and UR for comment.

Kyrylenko also claimed the Russian military had bombed a childrens' regional health center and damaged the Sviatohirsk Lavra, an orthodox Christian monastery.

He added there were about 1,000 people, including 200 children, who were inside the monastery at the time of the attack.

According to the Donetsk regional administration head, one person was hospitalized and another 30 people received minor injuries.

Kyrylenko concluded in his post: "The occupants have crossed all possible limits of common sense and humanity. Should get the proper punishment for their hellish crimes."

Newsweek has contacted the Russian Presidential press office for comment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted his forces are carrying out a "special military operation" in Ukraine, although that term has been heavily criticized inside the country as well as by the U.S. and its allies.

The war has continued to escalate with Russia having carried out a strike on a major military base in the western Lviv region, which killed at least 35 people and injured 134 more according to The Guardian.

Kremlin officials previously claimed western supply lines in Ukraine were seen as "legitimate targets," the publication added.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky and other leaders have expressed their desire to continue to resist Russia's invasion of the country, which began on February 24.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential adviser, said on Saturday that Kyiv was "under siege" but that its residents were "ready to fight."

President Zelensky claimed on Saturday that 31 Russian battalion tactical groups had been taken out of action.

He said: "The Russian troops are suffering great losses. We could even now talk about the greatest blow to the Russian troops in tens of years."

People waiting to flee Ukraine
People fleeing war-torn Ukraine arrive on a train from Poland at the city's Hauptbahnhof main railway station on March 9, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. The attack happened on a train in Ukraine, according to officials. Getty