The Ukrainian and Russian sides accused each other of shelling a convoy of refugees on the border of Lugansk and Kharkov regions, that happened on Sunday, September 25.
Footage, released by the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) on its Telegram channel on Saturday, shows burned and shelled cars left on the road and corpses.
According to SSU, Russian side ‘shelled a convoy of seven vehicles, at least 24 people were killed, including 13 children and a pregnant woman’, between Svatov in the Lugansk region and Kupyansk in the Kharkov region.
“The attack on civilians was carried out by a sabotage and reconnaissance group of the occupants. They used small arms to shoot at nearly point-blank range at six old people and one GAZ truck,” SSU claimed.
On Thursday, LPR ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnyk reported on his Telegram channel that in Kharkov Region, ‘the Ukrainian army shelled a convoy of five cars carrying civilians trying to leave Kupyansk for Russia, with seven injured, including children, admitted to LPR hospitals’.
“More than 30 people, including children, were killed in the shelling of the convoy. Because of constant attacks by the Ukrainian armed forces, emergency services are unable to remove the bodies from the site of the tragedy,” the ambassador said.
Chief physician of Lugansk Republican Children’s Clinical Hospital Lyudmila Beletskaya on Thursday described the condition of two children who, according to Lugansk regional authorities, had been taken to hospital after shelling at the border.
“On September 25, at 14:25 (GMT), two children, a 12-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, were taken by ambulance to our hospital, the Republican Children’s Clinical Hospital. The girl’s condition upon admission was severe, she was operated on that day, the boy’s condition was moderately grave. During this period, the children’s general condition improved. Currently, the girl’s condition is moderate, severe by type of disease, caused as a result of mine blast trauma,” the medic claimed.
The physician also shared a story told by the children.
“We know from the story children have told us that they were travelling by bus, leaving the city due to a particularly difficult situation. There were children and their parents in that bus, where the blast occurred. In this bus [due to that blast] mothers of both children died,” she said.
Moscow launched the military offensive in Ukraine earlier this year, after recognising the independence of the LPR and DPR.
Kiev condemned the action, while President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered martial law and full mobilisation in February.
On September 30, President Vladimir Putin agreed to sign documents allowing the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, to the Russian Federation.
According to Moscow, the move followed referenda in which people living in those areas exercised their right to self-determination and requested to join Russia.
Ukraine and its international allies condemned the move, calling it an annexation of Kiev’s sovereign territory.