The Russian army has launched an attack on Ukrainian soldiers in a frontline village in Zaporizhzhia. The soldiers are believed to have gathered together in one place for an awards ceremony on the occasion of Rocket Forces and Artillery Day [3 November – ed.]. According to early reports, there may be over 20 fatalities.
Source: Ukrainska Pravda source in the Ministry of Internal Affairs; Viktor Mykyta, Chairman of the Zakarpattia Oblast State Administration; Ukrainian soldiers on social media; Centre for Strategic Communications (StratCom)
Details: A video appeared on social media showing one of the soldiers saying that an emergency had occurred in the brigade, which is stationed in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The soldier said one of the officers had decided to hold a solemn awards ceremony for the brigade in a frontline village.
The soldier added that "a lot" of defenders and civilians had been killed.
A source of Ukrainska Pravda in the Interior Ministry has confirmed the incident.
Quote: "More than 20 soldiers are reported to have been killed at about 10:00-11:00 (Kyiv time) on 3 November 2023 during the presentation of awards to soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the contact zone in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, as a result of a missile hitting the place where the awards ceremony was being held. The servicemen included Volodymyr Voznyi, the former head of the Khmelnytskyi Oblast Territorial Centre for Recruitment and Social Support (TCRSS), who had recently been transferred to the Zaporizhzhia Oblast TCRSS." [TCRSS is the new name for enlistment offices in Ukraine – ed.]
More details: Viktor Mykyta, Head of the Zakarpattia Oblast State Administration, has indirectly reported this information.
The 128th Brigade, which is based in Zakarpattia Oblast, has not yet commented on the attack. Ukrainska Pravda also contacted the Tavriia Operational Strategic Group for comment, but has not yet received a response.
Quote from Mykyta: "I would like to ask everyone in the local area, communities, and businesspeople running catering establishments to refrain from holding any entertainment events, concerts, etc. in the next few days...
After [we have received] official information, and with the permission of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade, there will be an order to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers."
Update: Later, the Centre for Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (StratCom) also reported on this event.
According to the military, the Russians hit the personnel of the 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade with an Iskander-M missile, killing servicemen and causing injuries of varying degrees of severity to local residents.