According to Ukrainian media and Russian military bloggers, at least 19 soldiers were killed at an awards ceremony on Friday near the front line in southern Ukraine.
“Our best soldiers died… We express our sincere condolences to their relatives and promise to pay a hundredfold to our brothers,” the general wrote in a statement on social media.
BBC Reports indicate that Ukrainian forces celebrated a day honoring soldiers serving in artillery and robotics units. Criticism is now increasing from several quarters against the leadership of the Ukrainian army, which decided to hold an awards ceremony in the region.
On social media, many people in Ukraine expressed their anger and demanded that the organizers of the award ceremony be punished, according to reports. BBC. Military experts said Ukrainian officers should have been aware that the activity of Ukrainian forces around the front lines was constantly monitored by Russian drones.
A video clip that began circulating shows how a Ukrainian soldier, believed to belong to a battalion in the nearby area, criticizes officers for the way they organized the party.
He wonders what the officers who gathered the crowd were thinking, saying, “Everyone on the front line knows that a crowd of more than two people always provokes an attack.”
Zelensky: This could have been avoided
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s Defense Minister Rustam Omerov spoke about the attack and called it a tragedy.
According to Zelensky, the incident was “avoidable” and an investigation has been opened into how it happened. According to Zelensky, he wants to prove “the whole truth about what happened and prevent such incidents from happening again.”
“Criminal proceedings have begun,” Zelensky wrote in a social media post on Sunday.
“Every soldier present in the combat zone – in the enemy’s line of fire and under aerial reconnaissance – knows how to behave in the open, and how to ensure his safety.”
On Friday, a three-day mourning period was declared in the western Transcarpathia region, where the affected unit is based.
On October 5, 59 civilians were killed in a robotic attack on a Ukrainian village as people gathered for a vigil for a soldier killed fighting with Russia.
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