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A Ukrainian monastery sheltering 1,000 people was struck by Russian missiles and a train heading to pick up evacuees was damaged by bomb debris last night as more than 2.6 million people have fled the country.
Families, including 200 children, sheltering in the Svyatogorsk Lavra, an Orthodox Christian monastery in the Donetsk region, were left terrified after it was damaged by a missile last night.
The monastery says the bomb exploded 50 metres from a bridge at the entrance to the site, injuring a number of people.
Meanwhile, a conductor on a train heading to pick up refugees in the city of Lyman, also in the Donetsk region, was killed by bomb debris last night.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, Governor of Donetsk Oblast, denounced the incidents as ‘hellish crimes’ and vowed to punish those responsible.
It comes as the UN confirms nearly 2.7 million people have left Ukraine as refugees, with the vast majority heading west into EU countries, and it is expected this number could rise to more than 4 million in the coming weeks.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said almost 125,000 have been evacuated from conflict zones through humanitarian corridors.
Svyatogorsk Lavra, an Orthodox Christian monastery, was damaged when a bomb landed at the entrance last night
The church has been a place of refuge for families and people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine
Several people were injured in the incident, while windows and doors were blown out by the force of the blast
The leadership of the church denounced the attack saying it was a ‘blow inflicted on a peaceful city’
He added that a humanitarian supply convoy was on its way to the besieged city of Mariupol, where 400,000 people are trapped without food and water.
The monastery had been keeping hundreds of people safe from the ongoing conflict in the region when the peace it offered was shattered last night.
Several people had to be taken to the hospital in the aftermath of the explosion, but fortunately no one was killed.
On its website the monastery said the force of the explosion blew out windows and doors, and while several people had to be taken to the hospital in nearby Svyatogorsk fortunately no one was killed.
Among those sheltering at the place of worship are 200 children, with the Governor of Donetsk Oblast, Pavlo Kyrylenko saying 1,000 people were sheltering in the place of worship at the time of the attack.
Ukrainian refugees arrive by ferry at the Isaccea-Orlivka border crossing into Romania after feeling the conflict
More than 2.6 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian Invasion last month
Latest developments in the war in Ukraine
- Russia has launched a missile strike on a military base just 12 miles from the Polish border, killing at least nine and wounding dozens more
- Explosions have been heard on the outskirts of Lviv, a city which had been a safe haven for refugees until recently
- A tank column has begun to encircle Kyiv as Russia looks to cut it off from the rest of the country
- Ukrainian officials say the strategically-located city of Volnovakha ‘no longer exists’ after being bombed by Russia for days
- A psychiatric hospital and 50 schools have been destroyed in the eastern city of Kharkiv
- A mosque housing 80 civilians was blitzed and a blockade has stopped new supplies getting through to Mariupol as the city continues to face heavy bombing from Russian forces
- The mayor of Melitopol was kidnapped by Russian soldiers after refusing to cooperate with invading troops
- Missile strikes in the city of Mykolaiv targeted a cancer hospital with hundreds of patients inside
He said on Facebook: ‘As a result, one person was hospitalized to the hospital, two addressed the trauma in Sloviansk on their own; another 30 people with minor injuries were provided on the spot. Damaged infrastructure around the Lavra, damaged private property.
‘The occupants [Russians] have crossed all possible limits of common sense and humanity. Should get the proper punishment for their hellish crimes!’
On its website the monastery said: ‘On the night of March 12-13, all the refugees and brethren were evacuated to the monastery cellars.
‘Currently, there are 520 refugees in the Svyatogorsk Lavra, 200 of them are children. There are about 10,000 refugees and local residents in the city of Svyatogorsk.
‘The administration of the city of Svyatogorsk will soon be engaged in the restoration of energy supply in the city of Svyatogorsk and in the Lavra, which is vital, because. heating of the entire monastery complex depends on electricity.
‘The leadership of the Lavra informs that there were no military formations on the territory of the monastery and the city. The blow was inflicted on a peaceful city.’
The same night an evacuation train heading to pick up refugees, including more than 100 children, in the region was damaged by bomb debris.
According to Ukrainian Railways, the train was on its way to the city of Lyman when it was hit near to Brusyn station.
The operator said one of the conductors on the train was killed, while another was injured and taken to hospital.
In a statement on its Telegram, it said: ‘This is a terrible blow to those who save civilian Ukrainians every day and pave the ‘way of life’ for more than 2 million survivors.
‘Ukrzaliznytsia is now making every effort to evacuate the train crew of the damaged train and all passengers, including about 100 children who were waiting to be rescued at the Lyman railway station.’
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