DISINFO: Strike on shopping mall in Kremenchuk is Bucha-like Ukrainian provocation
The striking of a shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk is a Ukrainian provocation similar to that in Bucha.
This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets accusing Ukraine of killing civilians and staging provocations in order to deflect Russian responsability. This claim was made in the context of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
In reality, there is evidence that it was Russian pilots who struck the shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk on 27 June 2022. Ukraine’s Air Force Command established that X-22 missiles were fired from far-range Tu-22 M3 bombers in the skies over Russia. The bombers scrambled from an airfield in Russia’s Kaluga region and launched the missiles when they were flying over the Kursk region in Russia. Ukraine’s interior ministry said the names of the Russian pilots who struck the mall are already known. At the time of writing this case, over 20 people were reported dead, 59 injured and 25 hospitalised. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned Russian reactions to the shopping mall strike.
Russia’s Defence Ministry itself admitted targeting the city of Kremenchuk with a high-precision strike, although it said that a military object was hit. According to it, Western weapons detonated in the warehouse, which caused a fire at a nearby shopping mall that was closed. It is not true because there was no military object with Western weapons near the shopping mall.
The EU condemns the Russian missile attack as another heinous act.
As to the city of Bucha outside Kyiv, it is a well-established fact that Russian troops committed numerous war crimes during the occupation, primarily during March. Evidence of Russian atrocities in Bucha is overwhelming and came to the world knowledge in early April. Several executions and shootings of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha were recorded in video by witnesses and Ukrainian drones. Satellite images show that some of the corpses were already lying on the streets weeks before the Russian withdrawal. Incriminatory radio conversations by Russian troops were intercepted and released by German intelligence. Dozens of Bucha survivors have been interviewed by world-class international outlets, including The New York Times, BBC, The Washington Post, Associated Press, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Radio France Internationale, Al Jazeera or El País. Ukrainian forensic teams are uncovering further evidence of these Russian war crimes. Other false allegations denying Russian involvement in the Bucha massacres were further debunked by some of those international outlets like Deutsche Welle, El País or France24.
Read more about the EU's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine along with EU vs Disinfo's Guide to Deciphering Pro-Kremlin disinformation around Putin's War.