(NEW YORK) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian troops invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Russian forces have since been met with “stiff resistance” from Ukrainians, according to U.S. officials.
In recent days, Russian forces have retreated from northern Ukraine, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. After graphic images emerged of civilians lying dead in the streets of Bucha, a town northwest of Kyiv, the United States and European countries accused Russia of committing war crimes.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Apr 08, 6:19 am
EU president, top diplomat to meet with Zelenskyy in Kyiv
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the bloc’s top diplomat, Joseph Borrell, were due to arrive in Ukraine’s capital on Friday.
While in Kyiv, the pair will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It will be their first visit to the Ukrainian capital since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.
Apr 08, 5:08 am
At least 30 killed, over 100 injured in attack on Ukrainian train station
At least 30 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in a rocket attack on a railway station in eastern Ukraine on Friday morning, authorities said.
According to Ukraine’s state-owned railway company, two Russian rockets struck the train station in the city of Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast.
“This is a purposeful strike on the passenger infrastructure of the railway and the residents of the city of Kramatorsk,” Ukrainian Railways said in a post on Facebook.
Donetsk Oblast Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said the station was teeming with civilians fleeing the Russian invasion. Kyrylenko accused Russian forces of wanting “to take as many peaceful people as possible.”
“Thousands of people were at the station during the missile strike, as residents of Donetsk Oblast are being evacuated to safer regions of Ukraine,” Kyrylenko said in a post on Telegram.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that the rockets targeted an area at the station where “thousands of peaceful Ukrainians were waiting for evacuation.”
“Not having the strength and courage to confront us on the battlefield, they are cynically destroying the civilian population,” Zelenskyy said in a post on Facebook. “This is an evil that has no limits. And if it is not punished, it will never stop.”
Graphic images provided by Ukrainian officials showed the aftermath of the attack — bodies lying on the ground next to scattered luggage and debris, with charred vehicles parked nearby.
Apr 08, 4:33 am
Russian forces need ‘at least a week’ before redeploying, UK says
Russian forces in northern Ukraine have now fully withdrawn to neighboring Belarus and Russia, the U.K. Ministry of Defense said Friday in an intelligence update.
“At least some of these forces will be transferred to East Ukraine to fight in the Donbas,” the ministry added. “Many of these forces will require significant replenishment before being ready to deploy further east with any mass redeployment from the north likely to take at least a week minimum.”
Meanwhile, cities in eastern and southern Ukraine continue to be shelled by Russian forces as the troops advance “further south from the strategically important city of Izium which remains under their control,” according to the ministry.
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