Ukraine Says Seven Killed In Russian Attack On Evacuees

By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

Ukraine said on April 15 that seven people were killed and more than two dozen injured in a Russian attack on buses ferrying civilians from the war-torn east of the country.

"On April 14, Russian servicemen fired on evacuation buses carrying civilians in the village of Borova in the Izium district," the office of Ukraine's prosecutor-general said in a statement on social media.

"Preliminary data shows seven people died. Another 27 people were injured," the statement said.

A total of 2,557 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on April 14, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said late in the day.

Of that, 289 people evacuated from the besieged southern port of Mariupol using their own transport, Vereshchuk said in a social media post.

Another 220 people were brought to safety from the Luhansk region in the east of the country.

Ukraine says tens of thousands of people are believed to have been killed in Mariupol and accuses Russia of blocking aid convoys attempting to bring relief to civilians who have been trapped in the city for weeks.

Ukrainian authorities have called on civilians in the eastern part of the country to leave ahead of an imminent, stepped-up offensive by Russian forces.

The calls for civilians to flee have been given a greater sense of urgency by a missile attack on April 8 on a train station in the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region. The station was packed with women, children, and the elderly trying to escape the fighting.

Russia's unprovoked war has forced about one-quarter of Ukraine's 44 million people from their homes, reduced many cities to rubble, and killed or injured thousands.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa