On October 5, 2023 at 13:24, Russian invaders attacked the village of Hroza, Kupiansk district, Kharkiv region. The Russians hit a local store and café, where a funeral was being held for a fellow villager who was a military man. The Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Ihor Klymenko said that in total there were 60 people on the territory, and at least 52 people died, including a child. Also recorded were seven victims who were seriously injured - they were at a distance of at least 50 meters from the café itself. On the air of the national telethon, the minister also said that 330 residents lived in the village and “from every family, from every yard, one person was present at this memorial dinner”. Anonymous telegram channels that broadcast pro-Kremlin rhetoric are spreading messages that Ukraine struck the village, and this happened, supposedly, at the request of Volodymyr Zelenskyi. Propagandists convince people that in fact the tragedy is “beneficial” for the Ukrainian leadership for its own profit. In particular, we are talking about receiving additional humanitarian assistance and increasing financial support. In addition, they wrote that there were Ukrainian soldiers in the café, which means that the Russian army was allegedly targeting military and military targets. But they finally explain: “The West has reduced its negativity towards Russia, so Ukraine is obviously increasing it”.
However, the head of the Kharkiv Military Regional Administration, Oleh Syniehub, said that there were civilians and cars at the scene of the strike. Subsequently, the chief of police of the region, Volodymyr Tymoshko, confirmed this to the Suspilne. The Kremlin seeks to hide its own criminal actions against Ukrainians, hiding behind “military targets” that are supposedly a legitimate target. However, it is not military facilities that are suffering from Russian missiles and drones, but Ukrainian peaceful cities, villages and civilian infrastructure. Moreover, any attack on another country, even on military targets, is a crime. Among the dead was the son of a military man, who was reburied that day. The son was also a military man. He was in a café with his wife and mother - they died from a rocket hit. But the memorial site is not a military target, and the son of a fallen soldier did not perform military duties during the memorial dinner.
The head of the Kharkiv region police also explained that it has already been established precisely that the hit was made by an Iskander ballistic missile. This is the type of missile in service in Russia. The head of the Kharkiv Military Regional Administration said that it was a “targeted strike” and the hit was in the very center of the building, which resulted in so many casualties.
The authors resort to conspiracy theories when they write that Zelenskyi seeks to profit from the war in Ukraine and personally gives orders to shell Ukrainian cities and villages. These attempts indicate the demonization of Ukraine and the creation of an erroneous impression about it among partner countries. For example, similar rhetoric is used on anonymous telegram channels in response to the arrival of foreign politicians in Ukraine. Then propaganda systematically promotes the thesis that the worries in Ukraine are not real, but only attempts to intimidate foreigners and get as many weapons as possible.
The missile attack on the village on October 5 was the largest in terms of casualties in 2023 in Ukraine and the largest since a full-scale invasion in the region.