Thousands of Ukrainians flee their country by train after deadly attack

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Thousands of Ukrainians flee their country by train after deadly attack

More than 5 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, many by train as conductors and attendants risk putting themselves in harm s way to help their compatriots.

A total of 95 railway workers have been killed and 103 injured since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, according to Alexander Kamyshin, head of Ukraine's national rail system. Another four were held hostage, he said.

On April 8, two missiles hit the Kramatorsk train station in eastern Ukraine, where thousands of civilians were trying to evacuate. According to the Ukraine Ministry of Defense, at least 59 people were killed, including seven children.

The Pentagon said Russia was responsible for the attack, although Russia denied it.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the missile strike a war crime, and other officials pointed out the attack as an example of why Russia should be charged with violating international law. Ukrainian officials said they would send a blood-stained children s toy found in the rubble to the UN as proof of this barbaric crime. Even after the deadly attack, railway workers are always showing up for their jobs, knowing that their train could be struck at any moment. A quarter of Ukraine's 14,000 miles of railways have already been damaged by Russian bombs, Kamyshin said.

Train driver Andriy Bobrovsky said we are working, doing our duties that we were charged to do. People rely on us, citizens who are running away from war. I have a fear, but I have to do my duty. Trains are being used to help people get to loved ones in Ukraine and distribute humanitarian aid.

Ukrainian citizens said they recognized the workers' courage and devotion.

A woman who identified herself only as Valentina from Lviv, who was trying to reach her terminally ill father in the country before he died, said that they are heroes, to take care of all these passengers, take care of Ukrainians, and just support and give us these trains.

People who want to return to Ukraine are provided with trains. Approximately 900,000 people who left the country during the war have already gone back, according to the U.N. and 30,000 people are returning daily to Ukraine.

Raf Sanchez and John Boxley reported from Ukraine and Christina Fiorentino Blinn from New York.