A missile attack that killed at least 15 civilians in Ukraine earlier this month was likely fired by Ukrainian forces and not by the Russian military, as was previously claimed, according to a report.
On Sept. 6, a peaceful scene at a market in the Ukrainian city of Kostiantynivka was shattered by a devastating explosion that filled morgues and hospitals.
At the time of the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was quick to blame Russian “terrorists.”
“At least 16 people have been killed by Russian shelling in Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region,” Zelenskyy wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Russian terrorists have attacked a regular market, shops, and a pharmacy, killing innocent people. The number of casualties could rise further.”
Zelenskyy added, “Anyone in the world who is still dealing with anything Russian simply ignores this reality. Heinous evil. Brazen wickedness. Utter inhumanity.”
He concluded with a message offering “condolences,” and wrote, “The Russian evil must be defeated as soon as possible.”
Ukraine’s president included a video of the attack in the post.
WARNING: The following video contains images that some may find disturbing.
At least 16 people have been killed by Russian shelling in Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region. Russian terrorists have attacked a regular market, shops, and a pharmacy, killing innocent people. The number of casualties could rise further.
Anyone in the world who is still dealing… pic.twitter.com/PRfuGih2JD
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 6, 2023
In the clip, the reflection of a missile can be seen on the roofs of two vehicles just moments before an explosion.
According to a new report from The New York Times, which investigated the explosion, the evidence suggests the missile was errantly fired by Ukrainian forces. The missile reflection in Zelenskyy’s clip was part of the newspaper’s review of the incident.
In an investigation conducted by six different reporters, the Times noted:
“[Evidence] collected and analyzed by The New York Times, including missile fragments, satellite imagery, witness accounts and social media posts, strongly suggests the catastrophic strike was the result of an errant Ukrainian air defense missile fired by a Buk launch system.
“The attack appears to have been a tragic mishap. Air defense experts say missiles like the one that hit the market can go off course for a variety of reasons, including an electronic malfunction or a guidance fin that is damaged or sheared off at the time of launch.”
The Times analyzed the clip shared by Zelenskyy and noted that a number of people in it looked overhead to face a northwesterly direction, which was the direction from which the missile originated.
The report concluded that territory in that direction at the time was held by Ukrainian forces.
Those who investigated the deadly explosion said they were also able to ascertain that just minutes before dozens were killed or wounded, two Ukrainian surface-to-air missiles were fired 10 miles away from the scene of the explosion and in the same direction from which the missile originated.
The Times visited the blast scene as well as the location where it is believed the missiles were fired.
After reviewing the evidence and consulting with two military experts who did not wish to have their names published, the report concluded the missile likely malfunctioned after Ukrainian ground forces fired it, which resulted in the tragedy.
Zelesnkyy has not commented on the report, nor would a spokesman for the country’s military, who told the Times such comments are prohibited by law.
The official did say the incident is still under investigation.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.