The New York Times: Ukrainian Buk missile strikes civilian market in Konstantinovka

Ukraine exposed for striking market place in Konstantinovka with Buk missile

The September 6 missile strike on the market in the town of Konstantinovka in the Donetsk People's Republic took place as a result of the erroneous launch of a Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missile, The New York Times said with reference to the results of its own investigation.

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NYT journalists collected and analysed a range of evidence, including rocket debris, satellite imagery, eyewitness testimony and eyewitnesses' online posts. They concluded that the missile that struck the market in the town was of Ukrainian origin. The attack appears to have occurred as a result of a tragic mistake.

According to the investigation, surveillance camera footage shows the missile arriving from the direction of Ukraine-controlled territory, rather than from the Russia-held direction.

"As the sound of the approaching missile is heard, at least four pedestrians appear to simultaneously turn their heads toward the incoming sound. They face the camera — in the direction of Ukrainian-held territory. Moments before it strikes, the missile's reflection is visible as it passes over two parked cars, showing it traveling from the northwest," the newspaper said.

Shortly before the strike, the Ukrainian military launched two surface-to-air missiles towards Russia from the town of Druzhkovka, which is about 16 kilometres northwest of Konstantinovka. NYT journalists were in Druzhkovka at the time when those launches were made and they could also hear the sounds of them. Local residents also heard both of those launches.

"The timing of these launches is consistent with the time frame for the missile that struck the market in Kostiantynivka, around 2:04 p. m.," The New York Times said.

One of the interviewed witnesses said that he saw the missiles heading towards Konstantinovka. The eyewitness said he saw rockets being launched from fields on the outskirts of the city, where the Ukrainian army was stationed. NYT journalists went to that site and found evidence there proving that the area had been used by the military.

9M38 Buk missile struck the market

Immediately after the attack on the market, Ukrainian officials said that it was the Russian military that carried out the attack using an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system. However, the shell that exploded in Konstantinovka differs from those used for the S-300 system, the article said.

The Ukrainian authorities initially tried to prevent NYT journalists from entering the site of the attack.

The market in Konstantinovka in the Ukraine-held part of the DPR, came under rocket fire on September 6. According to the Ukrainian side, 32 people were injured and 17 were killed in the strike.

Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs and President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the attack on the market in Konstantinovka was carried out by the Russian Armed Forces. Mikhail Podolyak, advisor to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine said that the Ukrainian side would not investigate this strike: "It is obvious to us that it was a Russian missile attack as Russia strikes these or those cities, especially border ones, every day and night," he said.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov