WASHINGTON: The United States believes Russia used a short range ballistic missile to strike a railway station in east Ukraine on Friday, a senior U.S. defense official said.
Ukraine said at least 50 people were killed and many more wounded in a strike on a station in the city of Kramatorsk that was packed with civilians hoping to flee the threat of a major Russian offensive.
The U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon believes Russian forces used an SS-21 Scarab missile in the strike but that the motivation for the attack was not clear.
The SS-21 is the name used by the NATO military alliance for a type of missile known as the Tochka in former Soviet states.
The United States was still analyzing the strike and it was unclear whether cluster munitions were used, the U.S. official said.
“We are not buying the denial by the Russians that they weren’t responsible,” the official said.
The Russian defense ministry was quoted by RIA news agency as saying the missiles said to have struck the station were used only by Ukraine’s military and that Russia’s armed forces had no targets assigned in Kramatorsk on Friday.