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Videos debunk Russia’s lies about missile strike on Ukraine mall

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By Ramy Inocencio

June 29, 2022 / 9:29 AM / CBS News

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Kyiv — Video has emerged that appears to refute Russian propaganda suggesting that a missile strike on a shopping mall in Ukraine never happened. At least 18 people died and about 60 were wounded in the Monday strike, according to Ukrainian officials, but Russia claims it only hit a legitimate military target near the mall.

Video from security cameras in the area clearly caught the moment when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says a Russian X-22 cruise missile slammed into the shopping center in the central city of Kremenchuk. A shockwave ripples across the area just before people in a park are seen falling to the ground and fleeing for cover. 

Emergency workers were still searching through the wreckage of the shopping center on Wednesday, with about 20 people still listed as missing.

Zelenskyy shared another video that he said showed the X-22 rocket — a long-range cruise missile designed in the former Soviet Union to sink American aircraft carriers — flying at an angle into the mall, sending a huge fireball and debris flying in all directions. The Ukrainian leader pleaded on Tuesday for the United Nations to “act immediately” to “hold Russia accountable” for what he has described as a terrorist attack on his country.

“Absolute terrorism” – says @ZelenskyyUa and publishes a video of a deliberate missile strike on the Kremenchuk shopping center with people inside. Russian propaganda always lies: there is no coincidence, it is a deliberate blow to intimidate the population and mass victims. pic.twitter.com/Gx1f90cMta

— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) June 28, 2022

In his post sharing the video, Zelenskyy accused Russia of hitting the mall “purposefully.”

“They wanted to kill as many people as possible in a peaceful city, in a regular shopping mall,” he said.  

The security camera videos appear to debunk Russian propaganda spread online suggesting the attack was faked and that the Russian military only hit a military facility near the shopping center. Various Russian accounts have suggested the site targeted was a depot stocked with Western-supplied weapons or a base for Ukrainian military vehicles.

CBS News visited the facility just north of the mall, however, and found an asphalt factory. We met Mykola Danyleiko, chairman of the board for the Kredmash Road Machinery Plant, which mixes asphalt to pave roads.

“It’s fake,” he told CBS News of the Russian claims. “They said we send products from here by railroad. Do you see a railroad?” 

The cement plant was hit by a missile on Monday, too, but there was no railway there.

Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kremenchuk Smoke rises from a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kremenchuk, central Ukraine, June 27, 2022. Telegram/V_Zelenskiy_official/Handout/REUTERS

Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed fire spread from its strike on the plant to the mall, causing the shopping center to burn down. But our team saw no burn path after walking the third of a mile between the two locations.

Russian media also said the mall was “non-operating” at the time of the strike, but recent online videos suggest otherwise.

And fear can’t be faked: As we began interviewing a local woman near the mall a day after the strike, an air raid alert started beeping on her phone, and she bolted.

She was clearly afraid of another Russian missile strike — which Moscow might again insist never happened.

CBS News producer Barny Smith contributed to this report.

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First published on June 29, 2022 / 9:29 AM

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