Russia Strikes Ukraine’s Railways and Vows to Slow Arrival of U.S. Aid

Russia Strikes Ukraine’s Railways and Vows to Slow Arrival of U.S. Aid

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The attacks killed at least six civilians and injured dozens of others, the Ukrainian military and local officials said.

Firefighters working in the rubble of a building on Friday after Russian strikes in Derhachi, Ukraine.Credit…Sergey Kozlov/EPA, via ShutterstockPublished April 26, 2024Updated April 27, 2024, 4:36 a.m. ET

Russia attacked railway facilities in three different regions across Ukraine on Thursday night and Friday morning, as the Russian defense minister vowed to step up strikes aimed at slowing the flow of critically needed American weapons and equipment to the front.

At least six civilians were killed and 31 others wounded in the attacks, according to the Ukrainian military and local officials. Three of the dead were railway workers killed by a strike in the Donetsk region. In Balakliya, a rail hub in the Kharkiv region, 13 passengers on a regional train were injured when a missile hit the station. Russia also attacked a railway facility in the Cherkasy region, but no casualties were reported.

Ukrainian railways, with an estimated 12,000 miles of tracks and 230,000 employees, have played a crucial role in the war, evacuating civilians from frontline areas, transporting everything from grain to humanitarian assistance around the country, and moving heavy weapons supplied by Western allies along carefully guarded and hidden supply lines.

The latest attacks on the rail network came after Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, promised to target Western weapons as they arrived in Ukraine. “We will increase the intensity of strikes on logistics centers and storage bases of Western weapons,” he said in a speech Tuesday at the ministry.

On Friday afternoon, Kyiv City Hall announced the evacuation of two hospitals next door to each other in the capital, citing a threat to attack them. A video had circulated online showing a man, naming the address and asserting that soldiers were being treated in them, “hiding behind the backs of children.”

The City Council’s statement said that this claim was untrue. The video’s origin had not been independently verified by The New York Times.

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