Moscow said it targeted a meeting of Kiev’s military commanders with foreign arms suppliers in central Vinnitsa.
Russia targeted the House of Military Officers in Vinnitsa with sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles, the Defense Ministry said on Friday during its daily briefing. The statement claimed that the attack took place while a group of Ukrainian senior military officers were holding a meeting with foreign arms suppliers.
The discussion was about the “transfer of more warplanes and weapons systems as well as the repair of the Ukrainian military air fleet,” the ministry outlined. The Russian strike killed all participants at the gathering, it claimed.
According to Ukrainian officials, the incident left 23 civilians dead and injured scores of others, 80 of whom had to be hospitalized for treatment. President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that Moscow attacked the city center deliberately and accused it of terrorism.
The head of the Vinnitsa Region, Sergey Borzov, reported that Ukrainian air defenses engaged Russian missiles over the city and claimed they intercepted four of them.
Kiev has accused Russia of waging a genocidal war, claiming that Russian forces have a policy of killing Ukrainians. Moscow has rejected such allegations, saying its forces only attack legitimate military targets.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.