(Kramatorsk) Residents of Kramatorsk laid flowers on Saturday at a memorial at the Central Station in the Donbass city where a Russian missile strike killed 61 a year ago as thousands of civilians rushed there to flee the war in Ukraine.

On April 8, 2022, the bombardment had also injured more than 160 among the crowd who had gathered in this station to be evacuated, one of the deadliest attacks having targeted civilians fleeing the advance of the Russian forces.

“My close friend, her daughter and their dog are dead. What more can we say, ”Tetiana Syshchenko, 67, told AFP in tears. She herself was nearly killed in the bombardment.

Residents approach a small commemorative plaque covered with flowers and children’s toys. They make the sign of the cross, stand, kneel or cry.

Some 4,000 civilians had massed a year ago in this railway junction to be evacuated by train when the station was hit by a Tochka-U missile which according to experts was carrying cluster munitions.

Arriving at the scene shortly after the attack, AFP journalists saw at least 30 bodies in body bags. The bloody floor was littered with scattered luggage, children’s belongings and food.

Moscow has denied any involvement in the attack, saying Russian forces were not targeting civilians and that it was a “provocation”.

Colleagues of 57-year-old municipal worker Sergiy Kupochka were distributing food and water to people waiting to be evacuated when the shelling took place.

“One of our employees died here,” he told AFP, expressing his sorrow.

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelensky said on social media that “Russian terrorists” were responsible for the attack and that “war criminals must be punished”.