NY Times Investigation: Ukraine, Not Russia, Likely Responsible for Deadly Explosion in Kostyantynivka

NY Times Investigation: Ukraine, Not Russia, Likely Responsible for Deadly Explosion in Kostyantynivka

A recent explosion in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kostyantynivka that claimed the lives of at least 16 people was likely caused by an errant missile fired by Ukraine, rather than a Russian attack, according to an investigation by the New York Times. The Ukrainian government had initially blamed Russia for the blast, but evidence collected and analyzed by the newspaper, including missile fragments, satellite imagery, witness accounts, and social media posts, strongly suggests that the explosion resulted from a Ukrainian 9M38 air-defense missile fired by a Buk launch system.

The missile reportedly struck a busy market without warning. The New York Times report highlights that Russian missiles have been responsible for the destruction of homes, schools, and hospitals across Ukraine over the past year, as part of President Putin's strategy to target civilians and undermine the morale of the country. However, in this specific incident, it appears that Ukrainian forces were responsible. Security camera footage analyzed by the newspaper shows that the missile came from Ukrainian-held territory, rather than from behind Russian lines. Additionally, minutes before the blast, the Ukrainian military had launched two surface-to-air missiles towards the Russian front line from the town of Druzhkivka, located northwest of Kostyantynivka.

Two witnesses reported seeing these missiles being fired in the direction of Kostyantynivka. Experts cited by the New York Times explain that missiles like the one that hit Kostyantynivka can veer off course due to electronic malfunctions or damage to their guidance fins during launch. Measurements of the explosion's impact and fragments found at the scene align with the characteristics of the 9M38 missile, which is used by both Ukraine and Russia.

It is important to note that Reuters has been unable to independently verify the New York Times' findings, and no immediate comment has been received from Ukrainian authorities. The Ukrainian military's spokesperson stated that the incident is under investigation and that further comments are restricted by national law. The conclusion of this investigation could have significant implications for the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

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