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Verification of a Bombing: Kramatorsk, Ukraine

By Pierre Vaux, Benjamin Strick, Benjamin Den Braber

Download the full report here:

Kramatorsk Report FINAL
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“I saw that my daughter had no trainers on her feet, then I realised that she had no feet.”

— Survivor of the Kramatorsk attack interviewed by ODIHR

On the morning of 8 April 2022, at about 10:30 am, a missile strike hit a railway station in Kramatorsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. Today marks the sixth month anniversary of the attack.

According to a report by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)[1], there were approximately four thousand civilians at the station at the time of the strike. According to the report, the overwhelming majority were waiting for a train to flee the war zone.

The strike was reported to have killed 59 civilians, injuring more than 100. Some of those who died were children.

The explosion at the station was caused by a Tochka-U missile, which was later identified to be equipped with cluster munitions.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Russia’s Ministry of Defence denied[3] responsibility for the attack. Instead, Russia claimed the attack was a ‘provocation’ by Ukraine. In the citation of their allegations, the Russian MOD claimed the “Russian Armed Forces did not have or plan to carry out any firing missions in Kramatorsk city on April 8” and “that Tochka-U tactical missiles are used by Ukrainian Armed Forces only”.

The Russian Government’s attempts to distort the truth around what happened in Kramatorsk were echoed by supporters and pro-Russian outlets online, further spreading mistruths about the event.

In our report, user generated content, collected, geolocated and verified by CIR investigators shows three launches of rockets, within the timeframe that the Kramatorsk train station was struck by a Tochka-U missile, killing 59 civilians.

The plumes of smoke indicate a trajectory towards the Kramatorsk area and all three of these launch locations are well within Russian-occupied territory.

The westernmost of these launch sites lies nearly 35 kilometres from the nearest Ukrainian-controlled territory since 2014.

Despite Russia's denial of using Tochka-U missiles, open-source information shows evidence to the contrary. Russia does indeed have Tochka-U missiles in its arsenal and were observed in the Luhansk Oblast during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We provide evidence of this.

Six months on from the attack, the open-source evidence collected and verified by CIR investigators points toward Russia being the perpetrator of the missile strike that killed 59 civilians at the Kramatorsk train station.

This attack is more evidence of Russia’s indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets, which are meant to be protected by International Humanitarian Laws[2].

[1] [2] [3][0]=AZW3m0OEf1vvLg2z0P6jdpXFSzwwqQMZ35sOBxXcXDgFOHPyBFbJjT9H7oLZ84VfAwoTtio1-mepvLB5OzzrLrNdAF8uE9BD4J0S9YpiOjRwT7VFnF9ISLsgTm0kIDDAL8UrYzgUtyZDFuCNPGFwv1ij&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R

Geographical look at the launch location in respect to the location of Kramatorsk.

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