(RightWing.org) – On September 6, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office posted a press release accusing “Russian occupiers [of] deliberately [carrying] out a terrorist attack on civilians” in Kostiantynivka, an industrial city with a population of roughly 67,000 people in eastern Ukraine. He also accused them of targeting a “civilian area” in the city’s commercial district, later characterizing the attack as demonstrative of “heinous evil,” “brazen wickedness,” and utterly inhumane on his X/Twitter page. However, The New York Times (NYT) recently disputed those claims.
At least 16 people have been killed by Russian shelling in Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region. Russian terrorists have attacked a regular market, shops, and a pharmacy, killing innocent people. The number of casualties could rise further.
Anyone in the world who is still dealing… pic.twitter.com/PRfuGih2JD
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 6, 2023
On September 18, the NYT published a report detailing its “visual investigation” into the incident that killed at least 16 civilians by Ukrainian accounts (at least 15, according to the NYT) and injured more than 30 others. Investigators concluded that the evidence suggested that a 9M38 missile launched from a Buk air defense system failed to hit its intended target and struck the marketplace. Experts told the NYT that Soviet-era rockets like the one that hit Kostiantynivka could veer off course for various reasons, including a damaged guidance fin or an electronic malfunction.
Lending veracity to the report’s accuracy, the NYT assigned a crack team of investigators to comb through social media posts and videos. They also interviewed eyewitnesses to the catastrophic missile strike and studied weapon fragments found at the scene.
NYT staffers assigned to the project included a former US Marine infantryman (and NYT’s Ukraine correspondent), a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Pentagon correspondent, the co-founder of the NYT’s Visual Investigations Team, and three of its members, including one who recently won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Russian atrocities in Ukraine.
The NYT’s report did note that Russia had “repeatedly and systematically” targeted civilians throughout the conflict as part of an effort to “instill fear in the [Ukrainian] populace. For instance, Russian troops struck several houses and a preschool, killing six civilians in Kostiantynivka in April.
The timing of this report couldn’t have come at a worse time for Zelenskyy. He arrived in New York City the same day the NYT published it to give a speech before the United Nations General Assembly and to meet with President Joe Biden, other administration officials, and lawmakers.
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