At least 50 people were killed and dozens more were wounded after a Russian missile strike hit a train station filled with people trying to evacuate, Reuters reports.
The Russian strike hit a crowded train station in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine where many women, children and elderly people were trying to flee the fighting.
Many of the wounded lost limbs in the attack, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said was a deliberate strike on civilians using a Tochka U short-range ballistic missile.
Zelensky said there were no Ukrainian troops present at the station.
"Lacking the strength and courage to stand up to us on the battlefield, they are cynically destroying the civilian population," Zelensky said in a statement. "This is an evil that has no limits. And if it is not punished, it will never stop."
European defense officials condemned the attack and US Embassy in Ukraine denounced it as "one more atrocity committed by Russia in Ukraine."
The Russian defense ministry denied the strike.
A spokesperson for the agency told a Russian state news service that the missile that struck the station was only used by Ukrainian forces.
The spokesperson also claimed that Russia’s military did not have any targets in Kramatorsk on Friday.
Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said that Russian forces fired the missile from the region but did not provide evidence.
Over 4,000 at the station:
The city’s mayor said that about 4,000 people were at the station at the time of the strike.
Four of those killed were children, he said.
"Some people have lost a leg, others an arm. They are now receiving medical assistance. The hospitals are carrying out about 40 operations simultaneously," he added.
Kyrylenko posted photos of the massacre and condemned the Russian attack.
"The 'Rashists' ('Russian fascists') knew very well where they were aiming and what they wanted: they wanted to sow panic and fear, they wanted to take as many civilians as possible," he wrote.