Kramatorsk Railway Station Attack - Russian Denials of Responsibility

Abdullah

Active Member
https://www.quora.com/Do-you-condem...lling-civilians-fleeing-southeast-to-evacuate

>First of all, the missile is an old Soviet Tocha-U not a Russian Iskander...

>Secondly, on the missile it was written all the best for the kids,...a common Ukrainian slogan...









1649675223599.png
>Thirdly,...the serial number of the missile is 91579. Some years ago a similar Tocha-U was fired by the Ukrainians at the Donbass rebels, this Tocha-U booster was also recovered. Its serial number was 91565.
1649675146823.png
1649675191567.png
>Finally,...on a Tocha-U the booster is separates before the impact of the warhead, and this means you can generally see which direction the missile was fired from, by lining up the booster and the warhead. The booster was recovered south west of the impact area.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
>First of all, the missile is an old Soviet Tocha-U not a Russian Iskander...
Source: https://twitter.com/MotolkoHelp/status/1509099435262976000
via https://defence-blog.com/russian-tochka-u-ballistic-missiles-return-to-service-amid-ukraine-war/?amp


Article:
Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence Lab analyzed digital evidence—including photos, videos and satellite imagery— of three such attacks carried out in the early hours of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. The attacks occurred in Vuhledar, Kharkiv and Uman.

In the deadliest strike documented by Amnesty International, at approximately 10.30 am local time, a ballistic missile struck near a hospital building in Vuhledar, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, killing four civilians and wounding ten more. According to a local source who spoke to Amnesty International researchers, two women and two men were killed, and six healthcare workers were among the injured. Analyzing photos of the weapon scrap linked to the incident, Amnesty International’s weapons investigator determined that a 9M79 Tochka ballistic missile was used in the attack. These weapons are extremely inaccurate, regularly missing their targets by half a kilometre or more and should never be used in populated areas.


Source: https://twitter.com/CITeam_en/status/1500475853490343936
 
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CaptainCourgette

Active Member
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kramatorsk_railway_station_attack

Russian response​


Initially, Russian state media and pro-Russian Telegram channels claimed successful Russian airstrikes on the Ukrainian military at the railway station of Kramatorsk. After it became clear that the missiles had killed civilians, however, earlier reports were redacted, the Russian government denied responsibility for the attack, and the Russian Ministry of Defence characterized it as a Ukrainian hoax.[20][21] The Russian Ministry of Defence claimed that the missiles were launched by Ukrainian forces from Dobropillia, a city to the southwest of Kramatorsk.[22]


Assessments of the Russian response​


The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that their forces no longer use Tochka-U missiles; however, Amnesty International, the investigative journalists of the Conflict Intelligence Team, and a number of unnamed military experts had already reported the use of Tochkas by Russian forces in multiple parts of Ukraine prior to the strike on Kramatorsk.[23] Moreover, investigators from the open-source Belarusian Hajun Project had published videos of several Russian trucks with Tochka missiles heading from Belarus to Ukraine with 'V' markings on 5 March and 30 March.[24] In addition, the Institute for the Study of War assessed that the Russian 8th Guards Combined Arms Army, which is active in the Donbas area, is equipped with Tochka-U missiles.[25]

On the night of 7 April, the pro-Russian Telegram channel Записки Ветерана ("Veteran Notes") warned civilians not to evacuate from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk on railways.[26] At 10:10 on April 8,[20] shortly before the bombing of the railway station in Kramatorsk, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced that their forces hit railway stations in Sloviansk, Pokrovsk, and Barvinkove with "high-precision air-based missiles".[27][28]
So why did Russia first claim to have successfully hit the railway station and then later change their story and then say it was the Ukrainians?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Source: https://mobile.twitter.com/maxseddon/status/1512370386100527110


Article:
SmartSelect_20220411-142903_Samsung Internet.jpg
В канале «Сводки ополчения Новороссии» и силовых Z-каналах сообщалось о том, что ВС РФ ведут огонь по «скоплению боевиков ВСУ» на вокзале Краматорска

Сообщение об этом появилось в тг-канале «Силовики», его репостнул в свой канал «Русский тарантас» российский пропагандист Дмитрий Стешин.

После того, как стало известно, что удар пришёлся по мирным жителям, а в сети появились видео с телами погибших гражданских, эти записи были удалены либо изменены.

Google translation:
The Novorossiya militia reports and power Z-channels reported that the Russian Armed Forces were firing at a “gathering of APU militants” at the Kramatorsk railway station

A message about this appeared in the Siloviki TV channel, it was reposted to his Russian Tarantass channel by Russian propagandist Dmitry Steshin.

After it became known that the strike had hit civilians, and videos with the bodies of dead civilians appeared on the network, these records were deleted or changed.
Content from External Source
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
What about the trajectory?
I don't see any proof of the trajectory, I do not know where Russian forces are, if these missiles need to fly straight (or whether they don't, to avoid anti-air batteries).

Likewise, the serial numbers by themselves mean very little. If they're shipped in contingents of 25 each, they wouldn't have been in the same shipment.

What I do not see is motivation for Ukraine to aim a missile anywhere near a railway station they're using. Anti-Russian sentiment is already very high after Bucha, certainly no false flag operation is needed.
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
* Not really related but more of me being curious
But why does the warhead need to separate from the engine?
I can understand that in space, lessen the mass you have to push for the rest of the journey etc
but here why would you separate when you are so close to your target? It just seems like adding extra complexity, thus a chance of it going wrong for no benefit, Obviously I dont understand what they gain by doing this.
So what is the benefit?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
But why does the warhead need to separate from the engine?
I understand that for cluster munitions, the munitions get released from the warhead that then flies on. So to my lay understanding, the missile would actually overshoot the target? I don't know, exactly.
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
Yeah I can understand that for a cluster where it aiming is not important, as you want to disperse over an area, perhaps the engine will get in way of the scattering.

But its like say I was controlling a motorbike/car laden with explosives and I want to drive into a checkpoint (the target) and explode, if I jump off prematurely then theres a chance that doing that alters the steering thus I miss the intended target.
Yes if you are human you want to jump out earlier and save your life, but here why do you need to preserve the rocket part, its done its job, its expendable unlike a human life.
I could imagine yes if the missile part still had a long way to travel then ejecting it and lessening the weight will enable it to travel a further, but why eject it when you are nearly at the goal.

AKA I still don't understand?
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
https://www.newsweek.com/russian-missile-kramatorsk-civilian-train-station-children-painted-1696354
A photograph showing the remains of what appears to be one of the rockets that struck the railway station bears an inscription that appears to push Russian propaganda that Russian children of the Donbas region are "suffering under Ukrainian shelling," according to Berlin-based Eastern Europe expert Sergej Sumlenny. Some interpreted it as a message of revenge.

"One needs to add, although both 'За детей' and 'Для детей' can be translated as 'For kids', the latter means 'to hit kids', and the first is more 'because you have done something to kids'. The text is 'За детей', so it obviously played with the lie, Ukrainians killed Russian kids," explained Sumlenny.

"'Russian Children of Donbas' who are 'suffering under Ukrainian shelling' was a very popular Russian propaganda narrative since 8 years," Sumlenny tweeted, sharing clips of articles from Russian state-run media outlets including the newspaper Izvestia, which he said include "identical sentences."

Newsweek has not been able to verify who wrote the message on the missile in Russian lettering, or when it was written.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/01/cluster-munitions-vacuum-weapons-ukraine-russia/
Note: The cargo warhead opens from a small bursting charge. The submunitions (cluster bomblets) are not propelled by the bursting charge; they are simply "dumped out" so to speak from the cargo warhead. They continue on because of inertia. When they hit the air, a ribbon-type stabilizer on each one deploys, and they slow down due to increased air resistance. The rear section of the missile will continue on, because of inertia, and land beyond where the submunitions explode.
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
From the Quora post linked to in the OP...
... on a Tocha-U the booster is separates before the impact of the warhead, and this means you can generally see which direction the missile was fired from, by lining up the booster and the warhead. The booster was recovered south west of the impact area. As such, that means the missile was almost certainly fired from the direction of south west of Kramatorsk, which happens to be occupied by the Ukrainian military forces for the next 100km.

This is not correct. The rear section travels beyond the submunitions, because the submunitions have ribbon-type stabilizers that increase drag. If the rear section were found southwest of the station, it came from the northeast.
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
The missile can be fitted with nuclear, chemical, high explosive, or submunition/fragmentation warheads. It seems pretty clear that this one had a cluster bomb cargo warhead.
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
OK thanks ZW Wolf, So this is a cluster missile, I wrongly assumed it was just a single explosive. That explains why it separated.
My knowledge of weapons is minimal

The Tochkas themselves can carry varied payloads, from a single conventional high explosive to fragmentation warheads, I think they can even carry small nuclear devices.

It's odd that the Russian state propagandists haven't worked out that if practically everything they pump out is a lie diametrically opposite to the truth, then it starts to become really simple to predict what the most likely actual truth is.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
I should mention that these are ballistic missiles. They follow a ballistic trajectory. The boost phase is long over before they reach the target. In other words, the rocket motor is not on at that time. They are moving because of inertia only.
 
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BombDr

Senior Member.
BBC monitoring made a chronological series of claims by Russia about this strike which came in the following order:
1. The Russian military has struck significant numbers of Ukrainian soldiers in Kramatorsk.
2. The previous claim was deleted and the blame was laid with the Ukrainian military for shooting down the missile which was en-route to a military target, prior to interception, and it fell on to civilians because of this.
3. The previous claim was then deleted again and the new claim was that the Ukrainian military attacked their own citizens as a false flag operation to discredit the Russian Military.
4. Russia does not operate a Tochka-U missile any more and therefore it can only have been the Ukrainians.

Now, claim #1 could be true that they attacked a military target, and they simply missed. Tochka-U is old technology and has an accuracy of around 150-300m, however, as with most Russian military hardware so far in use in this war, it hasn't always lived up to the hype.

Claim #2 I find less likely as an interception would most likely result in an airborne warhead detonation, and if it was simply a carrier only intercept, the warhead is unlikely to have armed if there had been a break up of the missile in flight. Not impossible that it fell to earth and functioned, but unlikely.

Claim #3, whilst not impossible, it is unlikely as so far none of Russia's 'false-flag' claims have stood up to any scrutiny, and would suggest that Ukraine prefers to use its very few long range weapons killing its own citizens and transport hubs, rather than attacking the Russians with them.

Claim #4 has been thoroughly debunked already so no point in repeating it.

On the matter of the inscription, Russian linguists on the BBC have suggested a more ambiguous meaning to the 'on behalf of the children' transliteration, and may have a more loaded meaning, but I don't speak Russian or Ukrainian so cannot say. But, being bilingual in English and Hebrew, some things just don't have equivalent direct translations, so be cautious of translating things at face value.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Best info I can find, but not confirmed:

There were two missiles; launched from the city of Shakhtersk, which is in the Separatist Donbas region and not under Ukrainian control. This is 62 miles to the Southeast of Kramatorsk
Map.png

This info comes from this Ukrainian source.
https://meduza.io/feature/2022/04/0...ibli-39-chelovek-v-tom-chisle-chetyre-rebenka

Translation:
Ukrainian media noted that on April 8 at 10:24 and 10:25 — about 20 minutes before the first report of a missile attack on the train station — two videos appeared on the Typical Donetsk telegram channel , presumably with missile launches. The captions stated that the videos were filmed in the city of Shakhtersk, which is controlled by the DPR.

There were also reports that in the pro-Russian telegram channels on the evening of April 7 and on the morning of April 8, they were advised to leave Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and nearby settlements “not by railway transport” and wrote about “work on the accumulation of militants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

This is video of the launch of the two missiles.




I've marked in yellow where I tentatively think the two hardest hit areas were. In the parking area at the north end of the station, and the platform just to the south of the station building. The red dot is where the one rear section of the missile was found. There's no word I can find about where the rear section of the other missile came to earth.
station attack marked.png
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.

BLUF:
Meduza is an independent Russian media source, not Ukrainian. It's been legally operating out of Riga since 2014[1]. They are now banned by Rozkomnadzor[2], and the guy now running it has recently fled to Riga[3].

Fluff:
[1] Headline in URL self-explanatory: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2014...move-to-riga-to-escape-kremlin-control-a40670
[2] "Роскомнадзор заблокировал сайты "Голоса Америки"*, BBC, DW, Meduza* и "Радио Свободы"" translating to "Roskomnadzor blocks the websites of Voice of America*, BBC, DW, Meduza* and Radio Liberty*" -- https://ria.ru/20220304/blokirovka-1776476388.html
[3]
There was still a bit of denial. I was saying ‘Come on, let’s leave it to tomorrow.’ And she said: ‘No, we should be leaving right now, today, like today.’

There weren’t any tickets available from Moscow that we could afford because, at that point, no EU country would accept flights from Russia, and the only destinations that were available were Yerevan and Istanbul. Tickets were several thousand bucks a pop.

We booked a cab to the nearest border crossing point and drove for 10 hours to Riga. Here we are, building our life from scratch.
Content from External Source
-- https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/7/meduza-editor-kovalyov-there-is-no-media-landscape-in-russia

I say fluff, but there are some interesting tidbits in their history, so grab a coffee and give'm a read.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
I previously marked two areas that were hardest hit - the parking area on the northwest corner of the station building, and on the platform just south of the station.
station attack marked.png


I can add two more areas that were most hard hit. Two passenger cars of a parked train had shattered windows and damaged interiors. And there was another area on the platform, this time to the north of the station building.

station attack marked 2.png

I've been doing some checking about how the missile itself would work. What I'm presenting can't even be called speculation but guesswork from a non-expert, so take everything in that spirit.

The Tochka-U is a "quasi ballistic missile." It can maneuver after the boost phase is over. The purpose is to shorten flight time (and therefore warning time) and as a countermeasure to anti-missile defense.

I've found a single, pretty crude, diagram showing the path of a quasi ballistic missile; which is part of a YT video:

Pralay: DRDO's Apocalypse Missile Tested successfully | Pralay short range ballistic missile tested​

quasi.png

The black line represents a ballistic trajectory and the blue line one example of a quasi ballistic trajectory.

Since the maneuvers all happen after the boost phase is over, it stands to reason that control surfaces are used to maneuver, rather than a swiveling rocket engine. The four grid structures seen in these illustrations of a model Tochka-U would seem to be those control surfaces. I don't have verification of that.

2hhfq842-900.jpg

oa64qox7-900.jpg



Below is the rear section that was found. As far as I know only one was found.

I think it likely that the missile would be heading nearly vertically down when the warhead bursts open. This would make it easier to aim and keep the pattern tight. If that's true, it shouldn't be expected that the rear section would be found all that far from where the bomblets hit.

_124128806_missile_inspect_rtr_crop_hi075172666.jpg2022-04-08T122729Z_743831336_MT1CVMD51386858_RTRMADP_3_COVER-IMAGES-1024x683.jpg

It looks to me as if it were falling vertically - engine end down - when it hit. This makes sense to me because without the warhead it would lose stability... both aerodynamically and because of altered center of gravity. Without the weight of the warhead the thing would fall rocket engine down, because the engine is heavy. It looks to me as if the engine end is crushed and there's a big divot in the grass. It then tipped over and fell on it's side.

Note, the nose of the rocket section is coincidently pointing at the station as if it had come from the southwest. It would be easy to make the naïve conclusion that it was heading that way in horizontal flight and then pooped out as the engine ran out of fuel. A cartoon-physics Wile E. Coyote type rocket, in other words.
tumblr_oq9dm3D8J11relg8bo1_500.gif

That's not how it works, though.


Diagram of warhead with submunitions - bomblets.
9n123k-with-60-9n24-submunitions.gif


I'm guessing that the thing labeled number 5 is the low explosive bursting charge. It just scatters the bomblets outward. The bursting charge goes off at about 7,000 feet altitude.

Mock up of same.
Tochka.jpg

Another mockup. Grey things are the bomblets. There would be a lot more in a real warhead. Many were omitted to show the interior more clearly.
mockup.jpg



https://armamentresearch.com/soviet-9n24-submunitions-documented-in-ukraine-2022/
Figure-1-1.jpgFigure 1 A photograph shared by the DSNS Mobile Rescue Centre showing 49 unexploded 9N24 submunitions—a 9N123K cargo warhead carries 50 submunitions (source: DSNS via ARES CONMAT Database).

The 9N24 is a high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) submunition weighing 7.45 kg. It contains 1.45 kg of A-IX-2 explosive composition (73% RDX, 23% powdered aluminum, 4% wax phlegmatiser) surrounded by 18 partially pre-fragmented fragmentation rings, generating approximately 316 fragments upon detonation.



There were four scattered areas that were hardest hit. I'm guessing that each area of devastation represents a hit from a single bomblet.
station attack marked 2.png

I speculate... or guess... that these four bomblets were on the far northwest edge of a more or less circular pattern. Most of the bomblets hit short of the station, in other words. If this is true it stands to reason that the bomblets on the edge of the pattern would be more scattered - a looser pattern - then those in the center of the pattern.

I've been puzzled as to why casualties were so relatively low among a packed crowd of thousands. Maybe this is why.

If there were two missiles - as I think likely - and both missiles had been dead on target, the crowd would have been hit by... how many bomblets? 20? 30?
 
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BombDr

Senior Member.
The four grid structures seen in these illustrations of a model Tochka-U would seem to be those control surfaces. I don't have verification of that.
They are retarders that deploy in the terminal phase to keep the nose down.
It looks to me as if it were falling vertically - engine end down - when it hit.
It could have done, but these things also tumble when they are spent.
I'm guessing that the thing labeled number 5 is the low explosive bursting charge. It just scatters the bomblets outward.
Correct, the release system and sub-munitions basically have the same function sequence as the US Mk 20 Rockeye.
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
Source: https://twitter.com/MotolkoHelp/status/1509099435262976000
via https://defence-blog.com/russian-tochka-u-ballistic-missiles-return-to-service-amid-ukraine-war/?amp


Article:
Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence Lab analyzed digital evidence—including photos, videos and satellite imagery— of three such attacks carried out in the early hours of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. The attacks occurred in Vuhledar, Kharkiv and Uman.

In the deadliest strike documented by Amnesty International, at approximately 10.30 am local time, a ballistic missile struck near a hospital building in Vuhledar, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, killing four civilians and wounding ten more. According to a local source who spoke to Amnesty International researchers, two women and two men were killed, and six healthcare workers were among the injured. Analyzing photos of the weapon scrap linked to the incident, Amnesty International’s weapons investigator determined that a 9M79 Tochka ballistic missile was used in the attack. These weapons are extremely inaccurate, regularly missing their targets by half a kilometre or more and should never be used in populated areas.


Source: https://twitter.com/CITeam_en/status/1500475853490343936
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall that Belarus also operates the Tochka according to the CSIS and Wikipedia, the latter citing the 2021 edition of ''The Military Balance'' by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Is anyone able to confirm this? If so, how would we be able to distinguish as to whether the Tochka's were Russian or Belarussian?
 
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