The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed that the cause of death of 59 people in the village of Groza in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on October 5 was a Russian missile strike. All the dead, as stated, were civilians.
The Russian representative at the UN previously actually admitted that the Russian military had struck, but claimed that among the dead were military personnel and some “prominent neo-Nazis.”
On October 31, the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner was published under the title “Attack on wakes in Grose on October 5, 2023”. The department’s press release states that on October 5, a rocket hit a cafe in the small village of Groza in eastern Ukraine, killing 59 people attending the wake. “This was one of the deadliest incidents for the civilian population since February 2022,” the message states.
The report concludes that there are all reasonable grounds to believe that “the missile was launched by the Russian armed forces” and that “there were no signs of the presence of military personnel or any other legitimate military targets on the territory of the cafe or near it at the time of the attack.” The report is based on data collected by the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.
A memorial service was organized for the fallen serviceman. However, as stated in the report, all those killed – 36 women, 22 men and an eight-year-old boy – were civilians. The UN agency concludes that “the Russian armed forces either did not do everything possible to verify whether the target was a military object, or deliberately targeted civilians or civilian objects.” It is noted that both that and others are a violation of international humanitarian law.
The Russian authorities claim that the military in Ukraine does not carry out targeted strikes on civilian targets. Moscow either completely denied such strikes, or claimed that civilians were killed due to mistakes by the Ukrainian air defense or because they were at a military facility. Speaking at a meeting of the UN Security Council, the Russian representative Vasyl Nebenzya did not directly say that the attack on Groza was carried out by Russia, but he said that at the time of the attack “the funeral of one of the high-ranking Ukrainian nationalists was taking place there… It is not by chance that the photos published on social networks immediately after the impact, almost all the bodies belong to men of draft age.” Data from both the Ukrainian side and the UN contradict these statements.