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Russian missile attack kills 22 at Ukraine railway station on Independence Day

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A Russian missile strike killed at least 22 people at a railway station in the Chaplyn, Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine as the country marked Independence Day and six months of war. Photo courtesy of Dmytro Kuleba/Ukraine Foreign Ministry/Twitter
A Russian missile strike killed at least 22 people at a railway station in the Chaplyn, Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine as the country marked Independence Day and six months of war. Photo courtesy of Dmytro Kuleba/Ukraine Foreign Ministry/Twitter

Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A Russian missile strike killed at least 22 people and wounded 50 others Wednesday at a railway station in central Ukraine as the country marked Independence Day, according to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Rescuers are working," Zelensky said in a video after the attack. "But, unfortunately, the number of dead may increase."

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Speaking remotely to the U.N. Secretary Council, Zelensky added "four passenger cars are burning."

Wednesday's attack took place as Ukrainians marked the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union and the six month anniversary of Russia's invasion.

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Ukrainian officials had expressed concerns about the heightened risk of Russian attacks this week with many cities banning large gatherings and ordering curfews.

"Terrorist Russia keeps killing Ukrainian civilians," Ukraine government official Dmytro Kuleba tweeted before the death toll rose in the train attack. "Terrorist Russia must be stopped now before it kills more people in Ukraine and beyond."

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Ukrainian National Railways has not commented on Wednesday's strike, which comes after a rocket killed more than 50 people in April at a crowded train station in Kramatorsk.

The railway has provided a vital evacuation route for millions of civilians and transported 100,000 tons of humanitarian aid into Ukraine.

Earlier Wednesday, a rocket hit a house in Dnipropetrovsk killing an 11-year-old child, according to deputy head of the president's office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

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Before both attacks, Zelensky stood among burned-out Russian tanks in downtown Kyiv Wednesday saying Ukraine was a nation "reborn" in conflict as he commemorated the country's independence and vowed to drive out Russian occupiers.

"You don't want your soldiers to die? Free our lands," Zelensky said. "You don't want your mothers to cry? Free our lands. These are our simple and clear terms."

In addition to warnings about Russian attacks on Ukraine's Independence Day, Wednesday's deadly strike follows warnings about a possible revenge attack after Saturday's car bombing in Moscow that killed the daughter of a staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine denied responsibility for the weekend attack, blaming it on "various political factions" in Russia.

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