KIEV — Ukraine on Tuesday objected to a New York Times investigation that found evidence suggested Kiev accidentally bombed a local market in its own town of Kostiantynivka, killing 15 people.
According to the New York Times report published Monday, a combination of witnesses, findings at Kostyantynivka and open-source investigations into video footage and anonymous local Telegram channels indicated that the September 6 attack was actually an accident tragic, caused by a Ukrainian BUK missile system. firing on Russian forces from the nearby Ukrainian-controlled town of Druzhkivka.
Ukrainian law enforcement officials, however, say the evidence they have about the strikes points to another Russian war crime.
“The enemy struck this civilian object from the S-300 complex. This is evidenced in particular by the identified fragments of the rocket recovered at the scene of the tragedy,” the spokesperson for the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Artem Dehtiarenko, told POLITICO.
“Investigators are also studying a number of other elements indicating enemy involvement in this bombing,” he added.
The Center for Strategic Communications of the Ukrainian Army said: “Currently, an official investigation is underway, until the end of which one should refrain from speculation and conjectures. Because this is actively used by Russian propaganda.”
Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, agrees.
“There is no doubt that the appearance of publications in foreign media questioning Russia’s involvement in the attack on Kostiantynivka leads to the development of conspiracy theories and therefore requires examination and legal assessment on the part investigating authorities,” Podolyak said. said.
He said Ukrainian society will receive answers about what exactly happened in Kostiantynivka – a front-line town in the Donetsk region – once Ukrainian investigators finish their work.
“We must not forget that it was Russia that launched the invasion of Ukraine and that it is Russia that is responsible for the war in our country. Ukraine, in turn, carries out exclusively defense actions, defending itself and its territories,” Podolyak said.
POLITICO has contacted The New York Times for comment.