The war in Ukraine is taking on a new dimension with growing evidence of human rights atrocities by Russian troops as they retreated from the Kyiv region and other parts of the north.
Despite Moscow’s blanket denials, horrific discoveries of civilian murders and other barbaric acts are coming to light.
As Putin’s forces concentrate their offensive on eastern Ukraine, NATO has promised Kyiv more weapons and Western nations are tightening sanctions against Moscow.
Friday’s key points:
Ukrainian authorities say a Russian rocket attack has struck a railway station at Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 50 people including five children and wounding “over 100”. The station has been used by many evacuees in recent days and authorities say thousands were there at the time of the attack.
Condemning Russia, President Zelenskyy described the attack as “evil”. The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, travelling to Kyiv on Friday with Commission President von der Leyen, blamed Russia for an “indiscriminate attack” designed to “close escape routes” for those fleeing violence.
Moscow has denied responsibility and suggested Ukraine was behind it.
EU national representatives have agreed on a fifth package of sanctions against Russia that includes an embargo on Russian coal imports and a ban on Russian ships in EU ports.
Russia will descend into ‘economic, financial and technological decay’, von der Leyen said at a joint press conference in Kyiv where she handed Zelenskyy a questionnaire to begin discussions on EU membership.
Zelenskyy has said the destruction in Borodyanka northwest of Kyiv is “more horrific” than Bucha, with even more victims as work begins to dig through the rubble after the Russian occupation.
President Biden said the images out of Bucha and other areas of Ukraine as Russian troops withdraw are “horrifying” and “an outrage to our common humanity”.
The EU has proposed to increase weapons contributions to Ukraine by €500 million to a total of €1.5 billion, Council President Charles Michel said on Thursday.
United Nations countries voted 93-24 in favour of suspending Russia’s membership of the international body’s Human Rights Council as the world calls out Russian atrocities in Ukraine.