'Chaplyne is our pain today'
Russian missiles struck the Ukrainian town of Chaplyne on Wednesday, as Ukraine marked a muted independence day that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned could be interrupted by "something particularly cruel" from Russia. Wednesday was both the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's break from the Soviet Union and the six-month anniversary of Russia's invasion.
Four Russian missiles struck Chaplyne's train station, killing 21 civilians and wounding another 22 in five burning passenger rail cars, Zekensky deputy Kirill Timoshenko said Wednesday afternoon. It was the deadliest Russian strike on civilians in weeks. Hours earlier, an 11-year-old boy was killed when a Russian missile destroyed a house in the town of about 3,500 in the central Dnipropetrovsk region.
"Chaplyne is our pain today," Zelensky said in his evening address. "We will definitely make the occupiers bear responsibility for everything they have done."
Zelensky spent Wednesday laying wreaths of blue and yellow flowers at Kyiv's Memory Wall of Fallen Defenders, hosting outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and addressing a United Nations Security Council meeting over video. The strike on Chaplyne was reported just before his appearance. "This is how Russia prepared for the U.N. Security Council meeting," Zelensky told the delegates.
Johnson, making his third post-invasion visit to Kyiv, pledged Britain's enduring support of Ukraine and announced $64 million in military aid, mostly surveillance and attack drones. President Biden, meanwhile, announced a $2.9 billion military aid package designed to help Ukraine's armed forces modernize and persevere for years to come.