Expert: Deadly Russian attack on Hroza was definitely a war crime

06.10.2023 11:25
Heidi Saar

On Thursday, the Russian army attacked the village of Hroza in Ukraine's Kharkiv Oblast. This attack resulted in the death of at least 51 civilians. Estonian security expert Rainer Saks stated today in an interview with local national television ETV that this was clearly a war crime.

He believed that this attack was intentional, unlike some other random attacks by Russian forces that also caused civilian casualties.
Saks explained that the assault on a cafe and shop in Hroza was not a random event. He mentioned that a similar attack had occurred a few hours earlier in the town of Berislav, Kherson Oblast, where a hospital building was hit. In that case, Ukrainians were prepared and managed to evacuate people. Therefore, Saks concluded that the attack on Hroza was deliberate and constituted a war crime.

"The worst thing about these attacks is that usually there is no advance warning. Advance warning is perhaps given to the military via their own information channels, but it doesn't get through [to civilians]. And the artillery systems work very fast," he said.

Hroza is situated in an area near the front line, and Russia has been expanding its attacks into this region with artillery. He also noted that Russian forces systematically target villages close to the front line. While some Ukrainian civilians have been evacuated from these areas, many are reluctant to leave their homes. Saks expressed curiosity about how countries that had recently called for caution in providing further support to Ukraine would react to this situation.

The Russian missile attack on Hroza, located in the Kupiansk district of Ukraine's Kharkiv Oblast, occurred at around 1:15 p.m. local time on Thursday, October 5. Ukrainian authorities reported that at least 51 people, including a six-year-old child, lost their lives in this attack. Before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Hroza was home to approximately 500 people.

The interview (in Estonian):

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