Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (April 8)
As Friday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key 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 accused Russia of attacking a key evacuation hub. Gruesome images showed carnage at the station, where officials said 98 people were injured, including 16 children. Thousands had crowded for trains after authorities urged civilians in eastern Ukraine to evacuate ahead of anticipated new Russian attacks on the region.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces hit the railway station with missile known as Tochka-U. The Russian Ministry of Defense denied involvement in the attack, calling reports of its responsibility "a provocation." The Kremlin backed its defense ministry's claim. The Pentagon said the Russians did fire a missile — an SS-21 short-range ballistic missile — that hit the train station.
Slovakia sent an S-300 mobile anti-aircraft system to Ukraine to bolster its defenses against Russian airstrikes. In exchange, the United States will place a Patriot missile defense system in Slovakia as backfill. The Ukrainian military already has a supply of the S-300 systems, but has lost a number of them during the war.
The European Union formalized sweeping new sanctions against Russia, adding bans on imports of coal, wood, fertilizer and various other products, as well as bans on Russian transportation and vessels. The United Kingdom also followed in U.S. footsteps by adding sanctions on two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The latest round of U.S. sanctions targeted Russian shipbuilding and diamond-mining giants.
Global food prices have hit their highest levels ever recorded, driven up by the war. International prices for a food basket tracked by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization rose by 13% in March compared to February, and were 34% higher than in March 2021. Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of wheat and maize; Ukraine is a leading exporter of sunflower oil.
NATO's chief warns of heavier fighting in a "new phase" of the Ukraine war.
A Ukrainian mom scribbled her contact info on her daughter's back as the war erupted.
Dmitry Muratov, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist, was attacked in Russia.
A small bakery in Ukraine is offering hope and employment in a time of crisis.
How Russia rescued the ruble: NPR's Planet Money newsletter explains.
You can read more news from Friday 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's State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.