Andrea Carrubba/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
As Friday draws to a close in Kyiv and Moscow, here are the main developments of the day:
At least 50 people, including five children, died in a missile strike on a train station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk., according to Ukrainian officials who have accused Russia of attacking a key evacuation center. Horrific footage showed carnage at the station, where officials said 98 people were injured, including 16 children. Thousands of people had gathered for the trains after authorities urged civilians in eastern Ukraine to evacuate ahead of further Russian attacks expected in the region.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces hit the station with a missile known as the Tochka-U. The Russian Defense Ministry has denied any involvement in the attack, calling reports of its responsibility a “provocation”. The Kremlin backed its Defense Ministry’s request. The Pentagon said the Russians fired a missile – an SS-21 short-range ballistic missile – which hit the station.
Slovakia sent an S-300 mobile anti-aircraft system to Ukraine to strengthen its defenses against Russian airstrikes. In exchange, the United States will place a Patriot missile defense system in Slovakia as a backfill. The Ukrainian army already has a supply of S-300 systems, but lost a number during the war.
The European Union has formalized sweeping new sanctions against Russia, adding bans on imports of coal, timber, fertilizers and various other products, as well as bans on Russian transport and ships. The UK also followed in the US’ footsteps by adding sanctions to two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The latest round of US sanctions targeted Russian shipbuilding and diamond mining giants.
World food prices have reached their highest levels on record, pushed by the war. International prices for a food basket tracked by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations rose 13% in March compared to February and were 34% higher than in March 2021. Russia and Ukraine are the main exporters of wheat and maize; Ukraine is one of the main exporters of sunflower oil.
NATO chief warns of more intense fighting in a “new phase” of the war in Ukraine.
A Ukrainian mother scribbled her contact details on her daughter’s back when war broke out.
Dmitry Muratov, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist, was attacked in Russia.
A small bakery in Ukraine offers hope and employment in times of crisis.
How Russia Saved the Ruble: Explains NPR’s Planet Money newsletter.
You can read more Friday news here and daily recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find NPR’s full coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR Ukrainian state podcast for updates throughout the day.