Russia unleashed a barrage of deadly missiles on a military site just 10 miles from Ukraine’s border with NATO member Poland on Sunday — and shelled a train with 100 refugee kids, Ukrainian officials said.
The bloodshed came as Ukrainian officials said they are also bracing for a renewed Russian offensive against the country’s capital of Kyiv.
The string of bombs Sunday targeted a training facility in the western city of Yavoriv, killing at least 35 people and wounding another 134, Ukraine said. The site was being used to acclimate foreign soldiers as part of the new International Legion that Ukraine has formed to help fight Russia, the government said.
Then a train evacuating refugees, including about 100 children, was struck by Russian shelling in Donetsk, killing a male conductor and injuring a woman, the country’s national railroad and a report said.
The company said the train came under attack near the Brusyn station as it headed north to the city of Lyman to pick up more fleeing residents.
“This is a terrible blow to those who rescue civilian Ukrainians every day and paved the ‘road of life’ for more than two million rescued,” the railroad said in a statement on Facebook.
Meanwhile, a Ukrainian official said the country’s army is preparing for an intense renewed battle over control of Kyiv.
“We are waiting for aggressor to enter the city,” Markian Lubkivsky, an adviser to Ukraine’s minister of defense, told ABC’s “This Week.” “The president is staying in Kyiv. The government is working. Ukrainian parliament is working here. So it will not be an easy walk for aggressor to enter Kyiv.”
The development came as:
- Another Russian airstrike killed nine civilians in the heavily contested southern port city of Mykolaiv.
- National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Russia’s false accusations that the US is funding a biological program in Ukraine suggests President Vladimir Putin may be planning to launch chemical weapons himself.
- The mayor of the city of Dniprorudne in southern Ukraine has been kidnapped by Russian troops, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said. The pol is the second Ukrainian mayor to be held hostage.
- Ukrainian officials said power has been restored to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
On a hopeful note, Ukraine and Russia both reported making major progress in their ongoing informal peace talks over the weekend, giving their most positive assessments since war broke out and negotiations began.
“We will not concede in principle on any positions. Russia now understands this. Russia is already beginning to talk constructively,” Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said in a recorded statement. “I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days.”
Russia state media reported that Russian negotiator Leonid Slutsky also said “progress may grow in the coming days” and it was possible that both sides could sign documents.
Around 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers and 12,000 Russian troops have died since the start of the war, according to numbers from the government and news agencies.
Ukraine has reported 1,581 civilian casualties, including 79 kids. Among them was award-winning journalist Brent Renaud, a former New York Times contributor who was killed by Russian forces near Kyiv, the region’s head of police said Sunday.
Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with The Post’s live coverage.
A bus carrying Ukrainian refugees also overturned on a road in northern Italy Sunday, killing a 32-year-old mother.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that nearly 125,000 people have been evacuated from conflict zones through humanitarian corridors and said in a video address that a humanitarian supply convoy was now only 40 miles from the port city of Maripol where more than 400,000 people are trapped as food and water supplies run low.