Massacre pinned on Russia committed by Ukraine Air Force: NYT
A New York Times report suggests that the missile strike against Kostiantynivka was due to an unintentional launch of a Ukrainian air defense missile from a Buk launch system.
A recent investigative report published by The New York Times suggested that the missile strike on Kostiantynivka earlier, which was pinned on Russia, is in fact a mishap by the Ukrainian air defenses.
The missile strike on Kostiantynivka, on September 6, killed at least 15 civilians and injured tens.
Based on investigated evidence from missile fragments, satellite imagery, testimonies from witnesses, and social media posts, the report suggested that the devastating attack likely occurred due to an unintentional launch of a Ukrainian air defense missile from a Buk launch system.
According to consulted air defense experts, the incident appears to be an accident in which a missile deviated from its intended path due to electronic malfunctions or damage to the guidance fin during launch.
Initially, Ukrainian authorities attempted to block The New York Times' journalists from reaching the missile debris and impact site shortly after the strike, but eventually, the reporters managed to reach the location, conduct witness interviews, and gather remnants of the used weapon.
Security camera footage indicated that the missile entered Kostiantynivka from the direction of Ukrainian-controlled territory, not from behind Russian lines.
In the footage, as the approaching missile's sound is heard, at least four pedestrians simultaneously turn their heads toward the source of the sound, facing the camera, which is in the direction of Ukrainian-held territory.
Just before impact, the missile's reflection can be seen as it passes over two parked cars, clearly demonstrating its path from the northwest. An explosives expert and analysis by The New York Times suggested that the resulting crater and damage pattern, extending from the point of detonation, align with the missile coming from the northwest.
The evidence further indicated that minutes before the strike, the Ukrainian military launched two surface-to-air missiles from the town of Druzhkivka, located 10 miles northwest of Kostiantynivka, toward the Russian front line.
Reporters from The New York Times happened to be present in Druzhkivka and observed the launch of the first missile at 2 p.m., followed shortly by a second missile launch.
These launch times align with the timing of the missile that struck the Kostiantynivka market, occurring around 2:04 p.m.
Kiev had alleged that the Kostiantynivka missile strike was fired from a Russian S300air defense system.
NYT investigations, however, show that the S-300 missile carries a different warhead from the one that exploded in Kostiantynivka.
The buildings nearest to the explosion exhibited numerous square or rectangular holes on their metal facades, likely resulting from cube-shaped objects expelled outward by the missile.
The dimensions of these holes, as well as the fragments discovered at the scene, correspond consistently with a specific type of weapon: the 9M38 missile, which is launched from the mobile Buk anti-aircraft vehicle.
These openings vary in size, with some measuring less than 10 millimeters in width, while others are slightly larger. Correspondingly, the 9M38 missile is equipped with two distinct sizes of solid-metal cubic fragments, measuring eight millimeters and 13 millimeters in diameter, respectively.
Two military bomb-disposal specialists, who opted for anonymity, reached the same conclusion, affirming that the fragments and the damage observed at the site of the strike are most compatible with a 9M38 missile.
Numerous witnesses reported either hearing or witnessing Ukrainian forces launching surface-to-air missiles from Druzhkivka towards Kostiantynivka at the moment of the market strike.