This was reported by the Russian news agency RIA.
– A statement issued by the Russian Ministry of Defense, today, Thursday, said that as a result of the June 27 attack, two generals and up to 50 officers of the Ukrainian army were eliminated.
Russia still insists that the attack was aimed at military targets.
Moreover, Russia claims that 20 foreign mercenaries were killed in the attack.
Tobias Sather is a research fellow at the Staff School at the Norwegian Defense Academy. He highly doubts that this is true.
– It is unlikely that many will gather in one place. Even less than they meet in such an open and familiar place. There’s a lot of focus on security on the Ukrainian side too, so it looks funny, he tells Dagbladet.
Ukraine, for its part, claims that 12 people were killed in the attack – including three teenagers, two of whom were 14-year-old twin sisters Julija and Anna.
Ukrainian authorities also claim that 60 other people were injured in the attack.
Also, 65 homes, five schools, a kindergarten, a shopping center and several other buildings were damaged in the attack.
Sathir believes that this attack is an example of Russia going directly at targets that it must have known would hit many civilians.
– He says to Dagbladet that this shows that Russia is not pursuing such goals.
While Russia claims the attack was only aimed at military targets, Ukraine believes the attack was aimed at civilians. Regarding this disagreement, Sæther says the safest thing to do is to relate to what you’ve seen over time:
We have seen that Russia has deliberately pursued a mixture of military and civilian targets. This joins the series of massive attacks using drones and missiles, among others, from September to October last fall.
The Ukrainian authorities initially stated that the attack was carried out with Russian S-300 missiles, but it later emerged that short-range Iskander missiles were used.
These are examples of weapons that are often used in areas closer to those occupied by Russia. Then you save up for missiles, of which you’d like to have a limited number, Sæther explains.
Kramatorsk has a population of about 160,000 and is located on the front line in Donetsk.
The city became an important Ukrainian logistics center towards the war in Donbass. It has also become a center for international journalists and photographers who will report from the front, and has become an important center in this sense.
The specified restaurant is also frequently used by journalists and others on assignment in Ukraine.
The city was often subjected to Russian attacks, and Sather asserts that such attacks on cities near Russian-controlled areas are more common than one might think.
Unfortunately, this is one of the many daily attacks affecting the civilian population in these areas. It’s more common than you think, but this attack probably gets extra attention because it hit a restaurant and two journalists, says Sæther.
In a post on Telegram, the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kirilenko, asked that no one ignore security measures.
– Evacuation to safer regions of Ukraine! he asks his compatriots.
Kherson, another large city close to the front, Sather explains, is bombed several times a day on average. Although attacks against cities like Kiev, Odessa or Kharkiv happen more often, this gets more attention because these are names of cities we know pretty well, he believes.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”