- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Investigation Points to Ukrainian Forces as Source of Fatal Missile Strike in Kostyantynivka
A missile strike that resulted in the tragic deaths of at least 15 civilians and left three dozen others wounded in Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region, on September 6, appears to have been launched by Ukrainian forces, not Russian ones, according to an investigation conducted by the US-based New York Times (NYT). The investigation considered witness accounts, video footage analysis, satellite images, and missile fragments as evidence for this claim. However, Ukraine’s civilian counterintelligence agency, the SBU, has denied these findings, asserting that the enemy struck the civilian area using the S-300 complex, citing missile fragments found at the scene as evidence, and an ongoing investigation.
The NYT reported that on the day of the incident, the Ukrainian army fired two surface-to-air missiles from the nearby village of Druzhkivka toward Russian positions, following shelling by the Russian army in the town the previous night. Witnesses and satellite imagery confirmed this firing, and experts noted that missiles like the one involved in the marketplace strike can deviate from their intended path due to various factors.
The American daily suggested that the attack was a tragic accident, with the missile possibly deviating from its path due to electronic glitches or damage to its wing during launch.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded to the NYT’s findings by placing blame on Ukraine for the deaths in Kostyantynivka and emphasizing the urgent need for the demilitarization of the Kiev regime, even if the incident was unintentional.
This revelation has ignited debates and raised questions about the accuracy of early attributions of the attack to “Russian terrorists.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had previously attributed the attack to Russia, an assertion widely accepted by Western nations. However, a Ukrainian armed forces spokesperson, quoted in the NYT’s report, indicated that the matter was still under investigation and no further information could be provided.
The incident underscores the complexity of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the potential for tragic accidents amidst the backdrop of heightened tensions and military operations. As investigations continue, the need for a thorough review and legal assessment by investigators has been emphasized to provide clarity and accountability regarding this unfortunate event.
Article by Prague Forum