On Friday, a missile struck a crowded train station in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, a city in the Donestk oblast in the eastern Donbas region. According to Ukrainian authorities, at least 50 people were killed, and the crowd was mostly women and children trying to flee the area.
Ukraine and Russia traded blame for the attack in Kramatorsk, which is under the control of the Ukrainian government. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russian military deliberately struck the train station, while Russia denied it was responsible.
The governor of Donestk said that “thousands of people were at the station during the missile strike, as residents of Donetsk region are being evacuated to safer regions of Ukraine.”
Photos at the site of the strike appear to show the remnants of a Soviet-made Tochka-U ballistic missile. Moscow claims that it couldn’t have been responsible since its armed forces no longer use the Tochka-U, although there have been reports of Russian military vehicles being spotted in Belarus carrying the Soviet-made missiles.
According to Russia’s Tass news agency, on March 16, Russia’s mission to the UN sent a letter to the UN Security Council and General Assembly that said, “It should be noted that Tochka-U tactical missiles are not in service in the Russian Armed Forces.”
According to RT, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed that Ukraine fired a Tochka-U at the train station in Kramatorsk from the city of Dobropole, which is about 28 miles southwest of Kramatorsk.
A senior Pentagon official told Reuters that the US believes Russia carried out the attack using a Tochka-U, or SS-21 Scarab as it is known by NATO. The official said that Russia’s motive for attacking the station was not clear.