People gather to commemorate Ukrainian Independence Day in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday. In southeastern Ukraine, a Russian rocket attack killed more than two dozen people at a train station. Photo by Martin Divisek/EPA-EFE
Aug. 25 (BP) — The death toll from a Russian rocket attack on a train station on Ukraine’s Independence Day now numbers more than two dozen and separate attacks near Kyiv and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant were reported Thursday.
The attack on the train happened in Chaplyne in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast in southeastern Ukraine on Wednesday, where four trains caught fire, deputy head of the president’s office Kyrylo Tymoshenko said.
The death toll is now at least 25, officials said.
The attack came on the day Ukrainians marked the 31st anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union and the six-month anniversary of the start of the war. Authorities said more than two dozen people were injured in the train attack.
Russia’s defense ministry claims that the attack killed only Ukrainian military personnel. Ukrainian officials refute that claim and say that a number of civilians died, including children.
The Synelnykove district in Dnipropetrovsk oblast was also shelled early Thursday, injuring eight people. Shelling was also reported in the Nikopol district, near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the military attacks near the power plant that are causing concern about a potential nuclear accident. Moscow has been in control of the plant.
A Ukrainian serviceman stands guard by a wall honoring fallen Ukrainian soldiers in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Wednesday. Photo by Vladyslav Musiienko/BP
Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said on Wednesday that the Russian military killed three people at the power plant and kidnapped 26 others during their occupation of the facility.
Lubinets said the deaths came as the result of either shelling or beatings because Russian troops thought the plant workers were disclosing the movement of Russian military equipment in the region.
Oleksiy Kuleba, head of Kyiv’s regional state administration, said two Russian rockets hit communities near Kyiv early Thursday. No injuries or damage were reported, but Kuleba said the areas were still being assessed.
Meanwhile, a Ukrainian teenager is being hailed as a hero for using a drone that helped destroy a line of Russian military equipment and discourage an attack on Kyiv.
Fifteen-year-old Andrii Pokrasa, who’s known as “Drone Boy” in Ukraine, operated his drone to find and track approaching Russian military vehicles in the early weeks of the war.
“There were fuel trucks, tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers,” Pokrasa said according to ABC News. “I tracked them on a drone, they were in my picture. And then I opened the tab with the map on the drone and put a mark on it and the coordinates appeared there.”
The teen turned over his tracking information to the Ukrainian military, which then destroyed the Russian column within minutes. Russia eventually retreated from its attack on Kyiv.