Accused by kyiv and the G7 of bombing a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, Russia claims to have hit an arms warehouse, which would have caused the fire of a “non-functional shopping center” nearby, according to Moscow .
What happened on June 27 in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, where images of a shopping center on fire were widely reported in the media and on social networks? While kyiv and the Western countries condemned with one voice a “war crime” attributed to Moscow – which would have caused 18 deaths according to the Ukrainian authorities – Russia claims to have struck a Western arms depot, which would have caused a fire in a “non-functional” shopping center, according to Moscow.
In a statement on June 28, the Russian Ministry of Defense thus reported a “strike by high-precision air weapons in the city of Kremenchug […] on hangars containing weapons and ammunition supplied by the United States and European countries”, intended to be sent to Ukrainian troops in the Donbass.
“The detonation of these ammunition for Western weapons which were stored there caused a fire in a non-functional shopping center located near the territory of the factory”, then continues the Russian ministry without mentioning the human toll.
Condemnation of the G7 and the UN
Through the voice of its President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine had denounced the day before an attack that had ravaged an “ordinary shopping center [avec] inside women, children, ordinary civilians”.
FLASH 🔴 A shopping center is bombed by the Russians in the city of Kremenchuk in #Ukraine. According to the mayor of the city, there are victims. More than 1,000 people could be inside, according to Zelensky. pic.twitter.com/uGI15oMW7K
— Andrei VAITOVICH (@andreivaitovich) June 27, 2022
The leader had castigated “one of the most shameless terrorist acts in European history”, which according to the Ukrainian emergency services would have left at least 18 dead and dozens injured.
“Indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians constitute a war crime”, the leaders of the G7 declared in the evening from their summit in southern Germany, in a declaration which “solemnly condemns the abominable attack” of Kremenchuk and assures that Vladimir Putin will have to “account”.
In a message posted on Twitter in French and Russian, Emmanuel Macron denounced “absolute horror” and called on the Russian people to “see the truth” in the face.
The bombing of a shopping mall in Kremenchuk by Russia is absolute horror. We share the pain of the families of the victims. And anger at such ignominy. The Russian people must see the truth: pic.twitter.com/7drortbGSE
—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 27, 2022
“[Cela] will only strengthen the determination [des Occidentaux à soutenir l’Ukraine]commented British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In New York, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric recalled that the belligerents were bound by international law to “protect civilians and civilian infrastructure”, judging the strike “totally deplorable”.
An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council is also scheduled for June 28 on the subject.
Since the start of its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, Moscow has claimed to target only military infrastructure with the aim of “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” the country in order to protect the populations of Donbass. For its part, kyiv, which denounces a war of invasion, regularly accuses the Russian army of being guilty of abuses against civilians. Both parties accuse each other of being responsible for war crimes.