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Media: Russia used Iskander ballistic missile in Chernihiv drama theater attack

by Alexander Query August 21, 2023 9:11 PM 2 min read
The aftermath of the Russian missile attack on Chernihiv on Aug. 19, 2023. (Photo: Interior Ministry/Telegram)
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Russia used a 9M727 Iskander ballistic missile to strike the city of Chernihiv on Aug. 19 in an attack that killed at least seven and injured 156, Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing the press service of Ukraine's security service (SBU).

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Aug. 19 missile strike hit Chernihiv's central square, polytechnic institute, and theater.

"Here's what it means to be neighbors with a terrorist state, here's what we are uniting the entire world against," President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram following the Saturday attack.

"A regular Saturday turned into a day of pain and loss caused by Russia."

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brinks expressed solidarity with the victims, saying she was  "horrified by news of today’s daytime attack on the historic center of Chernihiv."

"Innocent men, women, and children enjoying a beautiful Saturday - a holiday in Ukraine - should never end up killed or wounded," Brinks wrote on Twitter.

"Russia’s missile and drone strikes on Ukraine’s cities, ports, and people reflect the depths to which Russia has sunk and must stop."

Following the attack, there have been unconfirmed reports in Ukrainian media that the missile was targeting a site where Ukrainian drone producers were holding an exhibition.

The Kyiv Independent confirmed that an exhibition of drone producers was planned for Aug. 19 in Chernihiv, but the location was kept secret. The registered visitors were going to receive the address hours before the event.

Russian government-controlled RIA Novosti news site rclaimed, citing unnamed sources, that the attack on Chernihiv “hit the gathering place of Ukraine’s Armed Forces military specialists on combat drones, which was disguised as a drone festival.”

Klymenko earlier said most of the attack's victims were people in cars, those crossing the road nearby, and people returning from church service.

The attack occurred on one of the biggest Eastern Orthodox holidays – the Feast of Transfiguration, known in Ukraine as the Apple Feast of the Savior.

One of the photos from the scene shows a body with a traditional church basket next to it.

Klymenko said that “everyone who was in the drama theater went down to the shelter in time,” as police officers “tried to take everyone to the shelter” after the air raid alert went off.

“There is also a large park behind the drama theater. Mothers were walking there with their children since morning,” he said.

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