15 Killed In Russian Strikes As Ukraine Marks Independence Day, Zelensky Says

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A deadly Russian rocket strike on a train station in a small town in central Ukraine killed at least 15 people and injured about 50 more on Wednesday, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier warned that Moscow could be planning for “something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious” as Ukraine marks its Independence Day.

War weary: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on at a press conference on March 3, 2022, … [+] in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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Key Facts

During a video call to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, Zelensky said the attack took place in Chaplin, a small town in the central Dnipropetrovsk region that is home to only 3,500 people, according to Reuters.

Four passenger train cars were on fire, he added, and while first responders were on the scene, he warned that the casualty toll could increase.

In another part of the region, an 11-year-old was killed by a separate instance of rocket fire, the president’s office said, according to the Associated Press.

Russia has repeatedly denied targeting Ukrainian civilians in its attacks.

Key Background

The Ukrainian government had anticipated an uptick in attacks on Wednesday, Ukraine’s Independence Day, the 31st anniversary of the country’s freedom from the Soviet Union, which also happens to mark the six months since Russia invaded Ukraine. The U.S. urged Americans to leave the country by ground transport if they were able, with the State Department warning Tuesday that Russia planned to attack civilian infrastructure and government facilities in Ukraine “in the coming days.” Kyiv has banned mass public Independence Day celebrations out of safety concerns, and some cities across the country have implemented overnight curfews.

Further Reading

In Photos: Ukraine Celebrates Independence Day As Russian Invasion Hits Six-Month Mark (Forbes)

Russia ‘Stepping Up’ Civilian Strikes As Ukraine’s Independence Day Approaches, U.S. Warns (Forbes)

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