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Why russia launched a missile attack on Chernihiv

Why russia launched a missile attack on Chernihiv

russia continues to commit war crimes – on the weekend of August 19, at about 11:30 a.m., the russians fired a ballistic missile at the drama theater in the center of Chernihiv. The missile attack killed 7 people and injured 156 people, including 15 children and 15 police officers. The drama theater building, 66 residential buildings, 10 administrative buildings and 67 vehicles were damaged in the city center. A six-year-old girl was among the dead. Such a large number of victims was caused by the fact that the russian missile hit the historic center of Chernihiv at a time when many churches in the area had finished their services on the occasion of the Transfiguration of the Lord and many people were in the open areas around the square. In addition, a public transportation stop was located near the epicenter of the explosion, where a bus with passengers stopped.

Later, the russian propaganda resource RIA Novosti stated that the target of the attack was “a gathering place for military specialists of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on combat drones, which was disguised as the festival “Furious Birds”.

EU Diplomacy Chief J. Borrell called the attack on Chernihiv a “cowardly strike,” the French Foreign Ministry called it a war crime, and US Secretary of State A. Blinken called on russia to “stop its brutal war now.” The presidents of Moldova and Estonia also condemned the russian attack on Chernihiv.

Currently, the authorities are investigating who in the russian armed forces command ordered the attack on Chernihiv and are checking whether the tragedy in Chernihiv was the result of treason. The results of the operational investigation into the circumstances of the missile strike on the center of Chernihiv will be known later, but some details are already revealed. So, a preliminary analysis of the circumstances of the incident suggests that the real target of the ballistic missile strike was not the Chernihiv Drama Theater, but civilians who were in the central square and streets of the city. That is why the russian missile was programmed not to hit the theater building, but to explode in midair to maximize the number of victims.

As for the aggressor’s true intentions, there are several possibilities.

First, this is the kremlin’s “response” to the shelling of russian infrastructure, aimed at the domestic russian audience. After all, the average Russian has less and less confidence in the government’s ability to protect them and more and more doubts about the achievement of putin’s stated goals of the “special operation.” That is why russian-language information resources cite the destruction of Ukrainian drone manufacturers and their foreign instructors as the main reason for the missile attack.

Secondly, the russians are shelling the border in order to make the Ukrainian Armed Forces divert their resources (primarily air defense) to protect and defend these areas and not to redeploy them to other areas. In order to create a public outcry and provoke discontent among the residents of the regional center, russian propaganda launched an information campaign to discredit the city’s military administration and the organizers of the exhibition, who allegedly failed to provide security measures. Russian propaganda focuses the attention of Ukrainians and the international community on finding their “fault.” No wonder that after the russian attack on Chernihiv, a wave of hate directed at the organizer of the exhibition, public figure M. Berlinska, was unleashed on social media. It is worth noting that the thematic exhibition of drone manufacturers had previously been held in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, and Kharkiv, and in Chernihiv, the time and place of the exhibition was announced only to verified participants a few hours before the event. As soon as an air raid was announced in Chernihiv, the event was stopped and the attendees were told to take cover. It turned out that everyone who went to the shelter was not injured, but unfortunately, some people went outside and came under fire. Of course, the question remains rhetorical: was it wise to hold an event that would definitely attract the attention of russian terrorists in the center of the city, which is poorly protected by air defense and has a one-minute flight time to the city. On the other hand, such exhibitions of military equipment developers during the war are very important for raising the morale of Ukrainians. Naturally, such events should be held for professional circles in special places where people will be protected from missile attacks.

Thirdly, shelling of peaceful cities is a common criminal tactic of the russians to terrorize civilian objects. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the russian armed forces have already fired more than 6,500 missiles and more than 3,500 attack drones into the country. Targeting civilians, missile terrorism seeks to break the will of Ukrainians and force them to lay down their arms.

Undoubtedly, russia is the sole culprit behind the shelling of the peaceful center of Chernihiv, but the aggressor’s gross violation of international humanitarian law only strengthens Ukrainian resistance and the West’s determination to support Ukraine.

  • 21 August, 2023

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