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Switzerland protests Kramatorsk rail station bombing

Switzerland has formally protested the bombing of the Kramatorsk railway station in Ukraine to the Russian ambassador to Bern.

At least 50 people are reported killed and many more left injured by Friday’s missile strike on the train station in the eastern Ukrainian city. At the time of the strike, it was crowded with around 4,000 civilians who were attempting to escape the conflict zone.

Both Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for firing the missiles but Switzerland has left little doubt about which side it holds responsible. The Kramatorsk bombing follows evidence of civilians being executed by Russian troops at the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

“After the barbaric attack in Bucha, Ukraine is suffering today a second ruthless attack on innocent civilians waiting at the Kramatorsk station,” the Swiss foreign ministry tweeted on Friday. “We have immediately summoned the Russian ambassador to vehemently condemn these violations of humanitarian law, which constitute potential war crimes. We call on Russia to end this war immediately and to cooperate with independent international investigations to shed light on any alleged war crimes.”

The Russian embassy to Bern responded by tweeting a statement blaming Ukraine for the bombing whilst sending “our deepest condolences” to the families of victims.

Unlike other European countries, Switzerland has refused to expel Russian diplomats but the Alpine state has followed sanctions imposed by the European Union, so far freezing CHF7.5 billion ($8 billion) of assets.

Earlier this week, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis condemned the apparent executions of Ukrainian citizens in Bucha. But he also stated that it is up to the International Criminal Court to declare war crimes, not politicians.