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Zelensky vows accountability for train station shelling as Ukraine fighting rages

Zelensky vows accountability for train station shelling as Ukraine fighting rages
A shell crater on a damaged bridge in the recaptured city of Makariv, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday. Photo by Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA-EFE

April 9 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed that the perpetrators of a Russian missile strike on a crowded train station in eastern Ukraine would be held accountable as fighting raged Saturday on three fronts.

In a Facebook message posted late Friday, Zelensky said the shelling of the train station in Kramatorsk that killed at least 50 people and injured dozens more would be among the war crimes that will be addressed at a future tribunal, which, he said, "is bound to happen."

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"All the efforts of the world will be aimed to establish every minute: who did what, who gave orders," he said. "Where did the rocket come from, who was carrying it, who gave the order and how the strike was coordinated?

"Responsibility is inevitable," the president declared.

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The eastern Donbas region again came under Russian fire Saturday, Ukrainian authorities said, as military officials claimed invading troops have sustained heavy losses in the northern Kharkiv region.

A woman was killed during Russian shelling in Severodonetsk, located about 50 miles northwest of the separatist-held regional capital of Luhansk City, the head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration said in Facebook post.

Four others were injured in nearby Rubizhne after Russian forces shelled a residential building, while a mass fire ignited by the destruction of a gas station was burning in the city of Lysychansk, Gov. Serhiy Haidai wrote.

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"Extinguishing [the blaze] was not possible due to Russian shelling," the governor wrote.

Russian forces in recent days have shifted resources and strategy away from Kyiv to eastern Ukraine's Donbas region to establish control of the breakaway enclaves of Donetsk and Luhansk -- two pro-Russia, separatist-held regions that were a prelude to the invasion on Feb. 24.

Russia had stationed troops near the border with eastern Ukraine for months, and Russian President Vladimir Putin declared those regions to be independent just days before launching the invasion.

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Meanwhile in the northern Kharkiv region, home to Ukraine's second-largest city, fighting continued as Russian troops attempted to relocate from there to the Donbas, regional military leader Oleh Syniehubov said Saturday on Telegram.

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Russian forces, he claimed, are suffering "great losses of equipment and manpower every day" as Ukrainian fighters battle Russian efforts to bypass their positions around the city of Izium.

Russian invaders launched about 50 strikes on the Kharkiv region on Friday using artillery systems, mortars, tanks and multiple rocket launcher systems, Syniehubov said.

Fierce battles also continued in the southern city of Mariupol, but Russian invaders have not been able to achieve any significant advance inside the city, according to Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko.

"The battle for Mariupol is in full swing and the occupiers do not have significant progress in the middle of the city," he said in a Telegram post, adding that Russian troops are removing bodies from streets, preparing to destroy them in mobile crematoriums.

"Russian occupiers are using large warehouse refrigerators to keep bodies," he wrote. "The cremation area is under enhanced security, making it actually impossible to obtain visual evidence from the inside."

As the fighting raged, Zelensky on Saturday met with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Kyiv.

"Discussed with Karl Nehammer strengthening sanctions pressure on Russia, supporting the energy, oil embargo on the aggressor, our EU membership," the Ukrainian President's Office said on Facebook. "The world must do everything it can to stop war. We appreciate Austria's support on this journey."

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Scenes from Ukraine: Destruction, atrocities and mourning

Priest Andrii Gavalin presides over the funeral of Eugene Bogdanov, 35, in Bucha, Ukraine, on May 10. Bogdanov went missing two months ago. His wife, Natalia Bogdanova, was searching for him throughout the Kyiv and Bucha regions when his body was found at a morgue in Belaya Tserkov on May 9. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

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