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How russians manipulate the topic of the terrorist attack on the village of Hroza, Kharkiv Region

Yesterday, the entire nation of Ukraine and the world were informed about another horrifying terrorist attack on the village of Hroza, located in the Kupiansk District, Kharkiv Region. This attack claimed the lives of 52 persons, left six wounded, and three missing.

The village of Hroza is not situated on the front lines, but rather lies 35-40 kilometres away from russian positions. Yesterday, at around 13:25, the occupiers targeted a civilian establishment in the village, a local café-shop, with a missile strike.

According to the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office, this attack was executed using an Iskander-M missile. 

Dmytro Chubenko, the spokesperson for the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office, reported that a memorial dinner was held in the village to commemorate the re-interment of a fallen Ukrainian soldier. This soldier had previously been interred in Dnipro, and his relatives wanted to re-bury him in his hometown.

The burial ceremony was organized by the soldier’s family - his son and wife. The fallen soldier’s son was also a serviceman. While in the café, he, along with his wife and mother, were killed in the rocket attack.

 Apart from a segment of russian nazis who celebrate Ukrainian casualties and triumphantly spread messages like “kill all those who came to cry over fallen Ukrainian soldiers” on the internet, the occupiers resort to soft propaganda as they usually do after such tragedies and terrorist acts. They typically put forward cautious versions regarding the defense tactics of their own invading army.


 For example, a Telegram channel named “Legitimate,” previously classified by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) as a network of channels operated by russian special services, has suggested that the large number of deaths in the village of Hroza might serve Ukraine’s interests. Consequently, it’s likely that Ukraine had a stake in the attack. 

We understand that the majority of Ukrainians no longer fall for such propaganda. In this post, our primary focus is not so much on debunking fakes as it is on analyzing russian narratives to understand how they think and what to expect from them. Spoiler alert – nothing good.

 The propagandists also claimed that the President of Ukraine was in Spain yesterday attending an international forum, insinuating that this tragedy was designed to draw attention to him. They reiterated their narrative, stating that “everyone is tired of Ukraine, and efforts are being made to bring an end to the war and reduce negative sentiments towards russia.” 

 The russians argue that this incident could facilitate aid allocation to Ukraine and enhance the effectiveness of mobilization due to the civilian population’s growing hatred towards russia. This leads to the conclusion that Kyiv may have deliberately orchestrated this tragedy as a provocation in order to secure financial and military support

russian “opposition” “journalist” Yulia Latynina from the “good russians” group, drew considerable criticism when she suggested that the village of Hroza might have been targeted due to the high concentration of mobile phones in the area. 

Latynina implied that this could have been an error on the part of the russian military, who mistook the memorial dinner for a gathering of Ukrainian soldiers. This transparent hint insinuates that the occupiers can attack the Ukrainian military in Ukraine with impunity.

Latynina’s post drew many negative comments, and another member of the “good russians” group, Rustem Adagamav, commented on her post, saying, “Jesus, Yulia, Iskander missiles don’t target ‘mobile phone gatherings.’ The Leer-3 is not engaged in guiding tactical missiles to their targets but has entirely different tasks.”

In addition to the relatively moderate enemy propaganda, there is also more extreme propaganda that utilizes false information to argue about the type of missile allegedly used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the attack on the village of Hroza. Ukraine allegedly shelled itself to divert attention from “significant failures in Bakhmut, the south of Rabotino, and in Crimea.” small logo

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Halyna Dolynna
Halyna Dolynna
editor of the English texts
01 / 01