CIR investigation: The attack on the railway station in Kramatorsk was carried out by Russia. The missile was fired from the occupied Donetsk region

Anhelina Sheremet

Researchers from the Center for Information Resilience concluded that it was Russia that attacked the railway station in Kramatorsk in April. The report shows three missile launches during the strike period. The plumes of smoke indicate a trajectory toward Kramatorsk, and all three launch sites are in Russian-occupied territory.

On the day of the shelling of Kramatorsk, April 8, in the morning, several photos and videos were uploaded to social networks showing missiles in flight over the occupied territory east of Donetsk. The investigators grouped them into three groups:

  • two types of missiles flying from the south of occupied Khartsyzk, shortly before the impact or after 09:00;
  • photo of twin columns of smoke southeast of Zuhres — 10:18 a.m.;
  • three observations of rockets flying from the southwest of Shakhtarsk — at 10:22, 10:25, and 10:26. Observations from this group are the probable location from where the missile that hit the railway station in Kramatorsk was fired.

The European Space Agencyʼs Sentinel 236 satellite flew over the area from which the missiles were fired at 11:36 a.m. local time, about an hour after the Kramatorsk strike. The researchers were able to find two areas with large plumes of smoke from burning grass, a common occurrence after missile launches. These burn locations match images of the first and third groups, with the third group being the most likely launch site.

Despite the fact that several videos have circulated online, and several fires have been identified on satellite images as potential launch sites, there is one clear site where smoke is visible from the place where the launch took place — the largest plume comes from the area next to the ash dump on Zuyivska power station, near the village of Shakhtne.

The second position, which coincides with the pictures of the first group, was discovered in a field south of Khartsyzk. CIR was also able to use satellite imagery to identify a third possible launch site, field east of Shakhtarsk and south of Girsky.

All three of these alleged sites are in occupied territory. The westernmost launch pad is located almost 35 km from the nearest unoccupied territory. And despite Russia denying the use of Tochka-U missiles, information from open sources indicates the opposite.

"Open source evidence collected and reviewed by CIR investigators indicates that Russia is likely responsible for the missile strike that killed 59 civilians at the Kramatorsk railway station," the investigators said.

On April 8, 2022, Russia hit the U-Point at the railway station of the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, where people were waiting for an evacuation train. 59 people died.