A missile strike on the city of Kostiantynivka in eastern Ukraine on September 6 killed at least 15 civilians and injured over 30 others. The missile struck a market, causing extensive damage to windows and walls. President Volodymyr Zelensky quickly blamed Russian “terrorists” for the attack, but evidence collected and analyzed by the New York Times suggests that the strike was actually caused by an errant Ukrainian air defense missile fired by a Buk launch system. The missile appears to have veered off course, with Ukrainian authorities now claiming they are investigating the incident.
Witness accounts and evidence, including missile fragments, satellite imagery, and social media posts, indicate the missile that hit the market in Kostiantynivka came from Ukrainian-held territory, not from behind Russian lines. Security camera footage shows four pedestrians turning their heads towards the incoming missile, facing the camera and the direction of Ukrainian-held territory. The missile’s reflection is also visible as it passes over two parked cars, confirming its northwestern trajectory. The timing of two surface-to-air missile launches from the town of Druzhkivka, just minutes before the strike, coincides with the timeframe for the missile that hit the market. The launches were witnessed by residents and recorded by a member of the New York Times team.
At the time, global media outlets include the Times itself blindly reiterated Zelensky’s false claims.
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