NewsSoldiers massacred: Ukrainian minister makes first statement

Soldiers massacred: Ukrainian minister makes first statement

Tragedy of the 128th Transcarpathian Brigade. Ukraine's Defense Minister responds.
Tragedy of the 128th Transcarpathian Brigade. Ukraine's Defense Minister responds.
Images source: © GETTY | Sean Gallup
ed. MCZ

12:06 PM EST, November 5, 2023

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov has confirmed that a Russian missile struck a gathering of Ukrainian soldiers at the celebration of the Rocket Forces' holiday. Reports indicate over 20 soldiers and civilians were killed in the attack, which took place in a frontline village in the Zaporizhzhia region. "All the circumstances of what transpired will be clarified," Umerov stated.

Several hours after the shocking news circulated in Ukraine, about the demise of dozens of soldiers, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov commented on the incident.

Soldiers were "lined up for awards"

The tragedy that shocked the nation took place on November 3 in the Zaporizhzhia region. The Russians targeted 26 settlements in the area. One such missile also hit soldiers from the 128th separate Zakarpattia assault brigade. "They were lined up to receive awards," the Obozrevatel portal reported. This incident took place during a ceremony associated with the celebration of the Day of the Rocket Forces and Artillery.

A soldier from the 128th brigade stated, in an online recording, that the brigade command had decided to hold a ceremonial meeting and award presentation in one of the frontline villages. Unfortunately, due to the Russian shelling, a large number of military personnel and civilians were killed.

"One of the best gunners"

We now know that the invaders used an Iskander-M missile to hit the Ukrainian defenders. Kyiv has not released the exact number of casualties and wounded from this attack. Among the deceased was Dmytro "Taxi Driver" Milyutin, described as "one of the most motivated and best gunners in the country." He had volunteered to fight against the Russians.

"Whoever neglected this order, after issuing the proper command, simply must answer for it. According to the law, it will be just and straightforward," stated Ukrainian journalist Andrij Tsapilenko.

Initially, only Ukrainian media reported on the incident. The general staff and the army's press services declined to respond to journalists' questions. When news of the incident spread beyond the country's borders, the first official statements were made after several hours.

Defense minister responds to soldiers' massacre

"I extend my condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers from the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade. We will clarify all the circumstances of the incident. I have ordered the Chief Inspectorate of the Ministry of Defense to conduct a full investigation into this tragedy," the Ukrainian Defense Minister posted on Facebook.

Umerov further added, "Our enemy is a vicious terrorist. We must do everything in our power to protect our people and provide honest answers to the families and friends of our fallen soldiers," he continued.

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