The attack on Kramatorsk on June 27 was twofold. At 7:32 p.m., a rocket hit the Ria Lounge, and a minute later — the village of Bilenke, three kilometers from the city. Later, the investigators established that these strikes were connected.
Both times, the Russians used Iskander-K missiles, not Iskander-M ballistic missiles, as the investigation initially believed. This is evidenced by the scale of the destruction, the sound of the rocketʼs flight, its speed, the shape of the rupture, and the details found at the site of the explosion.
The rocket flew to Kramatorsk from the southeast. It flew for 9-18 minutes. The rocket hit the restaurant at 7:32 p.m., 18 minutes after the air raid warning was over. Taking into account the speed of movement and the time of impact, the missile was launched 100-270 km from the city. Probably from the territory of Russia.
The 47th missile brigade of the 8th army of the Russian Federation is probably responsible for the attack. It is fighting in the Donetsk region and is temporarily stationed in the Rostov region. Earlier, this brigade had already attacked Druzhkivka and Kostyantynivka near Kramatorsk with Iskanders — it is the only missile brigade operating in this area.
Colonel Vitaly Veniaminovich Bobyr, commander of the missile brigade, is responsible for the attack. It was he who gave the order, which was vertically passed from him to the crew of the launcher. Investigators were unable to identify the soldiers who directly pressed the "launch" button.
Among the 13 dead are two soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Third Separate Assault Brigade and the Foreign Legion, not 50 officers of the 56th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, as officially stated by the Ministry of Defense of Russia. The other 11 dead are civilians.
On June 27, in the basement of Ria Lounge, the Ukrainian military celebrated the birthday of their comrades. The first part began at 1:00 p.m., the second was planned for 7:00 p.m., 20 soldiers were supposed to come for each. A banquet was held in the afternoon. Whether the second group came in the evening, it was not possible to find out for sure.
At the same time, a banquet on the same occasion was to be held at the Laguna cafe in the village of Bilenke. A second missile hit ten meters from the Laguna, a minute after hitting the Ria Lounge.
The management of Ria Lounge was aware of a possible strike, but did not take the necessary security measures. "On the morning of the attack, Artur [the restaurant administrator] communicated with law enforcement officials who warned him that there would be an attack today. No evacuation measures were taken, so it happened. There were a lot of questions about why we didnʼt leave the place," a former employee of the restaurant told the investigators.
Despite the presence of the military, this attack is a war crime. Investigators explain: the "target" is located in a densely populated area of the city, and the restaurant was popular with both the military and civilians. The missileʼs impact zone was tens of meters, so civilian casualties were inevitable. That is, the attack was disproportionate, and therefore can be qualified as a war crime. In addition, according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the aggressor state is responsible for all victims caused by the armed conflict it initiated.
Translated from Ukrainian by Anton Semyzhenko.
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