“Soldiers were killed, and local residents were also seriously injured to varying degrees,” the ministry said, without providing the number of casualties, the circumstances or the exact location of the attack.
A member of the 128th Brigade, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the missile hit the brigade as it gathered in Zarichne village near the front lines for a medal ceremony honoring the country’s artillery. Missile Forces Day.
“I can’t say the exact number of casualties,” the serviceman said. “All we heard in the first few minutes after the strike was 22 people. But later, one of the platoon commanders present at the event said it was more than 30 people.”
The Washington Post could not independently verify reports of the strike.
The brigade member also said the brigade’s artillery chief and “several officers” were killed. “All the artillery units, the best crews, were assembled,” he said.
He also appeared to blame his unit’s leadership for security lapses. “It’s a screw up by command, because they should have said, ‘OK, let’s award people by unit and let’s gather in the trenches,'” he said. “In short, we just relaxed, and it didn’t take long to destroy us.”
“The ‘Eye of Sauron’ is constantly watching you, and anything more than three is a fat target,” he added, referring to the all-seeing evil ruler in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov called the incident “a tragedy” in a Facebook post Saturday evening, without giving further details, and said he was ordering a “full investigation” of the incident.
Unverified pictures on social media showed burnt cars and bodies lying on the side of a dirt road in the village after the attack.
Viktor Mykita, governor of the southwestern Transcarpathia region where the 128th Brigade is normally based, announced a three-day mourning period starting Monday, during which flags will be flown at half-mast, with a moment of silence observed in the morning. And “religious services will be held in churches of various denominations in the region.”
“I suggest you go to the sanctuary and pray for our protectors,” Maikita wrote on social media on Saturday evening.
Transcarpathia is a small, largely rural mountainous region with a population of just over one million that borders Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. The 128th Brigade is headquartered in Mukachevo, the second largest city in the region.
The attack on the brigade followed a strike last month at the funeral of a Ukrainian soldier in the eastern city of Horoza, in which 52 people were killed. Most of those who died were civilians, including widows and relatives of fallen soldiers; It is unclear whether Russian military personnel will be present. Many villagers said they suspected a Russian sympathizer living among them tipped off the Russian military about the planned rally.
A Russian missile attack on a funeral in Ukraine has killed a large number of civilians
Ukraine’s military chief, General Valery Zaluzhny, said in an interview published this week that modern military equipment allows both sides in the Russian conflict to easily detect concentrations of opposing forces.
“The simple fact is that we can see what the enemy is doing and they can see what we are doing,” he said. Economist.