The Russian authorities are trying to present the tragedy in Kremenchuk, where a Russian missile destroyed the city's largest shopping center, where there were hundreds of customers and store employees, as a Ukrainian provocation. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference following the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Caspian states said :
“They bombed the hangar, where European and American weapons and ammunition arrived. As a result of the detonation of ammunition, an empty shopping center standing nearby caught fire.
Created in the early days of the war and actively promoted by the Kremlin media, the War on Fake Telegram channel writes :
“Fake: The Russian military shelled the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchug. This was announced by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
Truth: The Amstor shopping center is located next to the Kremenchug road machinery plant and the Kremenchug railway station. In one of the videos, it seems to people that the rocket hit the plant (the phrase “Dormash, Dormash”). In addition, according to sources familiar with the course of the special operation, the Amstor shopping center was used as a warehouse for storing military equipment, just like the Retroville shopping center in Kiev. <…>
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that there were about a thousand civilians in the shopping center, however, the parking lot in front of the shopping center building is almost empty, there are few cars on it. In addition, among the people who walk around the parking lot, there are a lot of military men in “pixel” uniforms (regular T-shirts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, camouflage bags), some of them are armed with machine guns. At the same time, there are practically no women in the video posted by Zelensky, as well as in the videos on social networks.
It doesn't look like the mall was open at all. In Instagram (the social network is recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation), according to the geotag “Amstor shopping center”, there are no photos of visitors since March. Reviews on websites and Google maps also stopped leaving in March. Apparently, the shopping center kept equipment repaired at Dormash.
Despite the unconfirmed nature of Zelenskiy’s statement about a thousand visitors in the shopping center and the official information about two dead, the international media quickly picked up the news precisely in the context of “a Russian missile that hit the shopping center with 1,000 visitors”.
In the coming days, a NATO summit will be held, during which Volodymyr Zelensky intends to ask for military assistance. Now the Ukrainian authorities are preparing the ground to turn Amstor into a new Bucha.”
The Ukrainian edition of Apostrophe has published a photo taken from a drone of a destroyed shopping center.
The territory of the Dormash plant adjoins the rear facade of Amstor. This is clearly visible on the Google map.
There are no signs of the destroyed hangar that Lavrov speaks of. The missile obviously hit the mall building directly. Machines on the territory of the plant are not damaged.
The second missile did indeed hit the plant, but in the part farthest from Amstor, at a distance of about 500 m.
Here's the video from the surveillance cameras in the park nearby.
The video posted by Zelensky was not filmed at the time of the missile hit, but later; it shows the work of the fire brigade. People in military uniforms are territorial defense fighters who arrived at the site of the missile attack. Obviously, by this time, customers and store employees have already been evacuated. This also explains the absence of cars in the parking lot: apparently, they were removed so that they would not interfere with firefighters and rescuers. The impact hit the back of the shopping center, and the building covered the parking lot, so the destroyed cars are not visible.
But in the Telegram channel created after the tragedy, Amstor Shopping Center Kremenchuk (Kremenchuk. Exposure of Putin's fakes ”photos taken immediately after the rocket hit appeared. They show both cars in the parking lot near the burning shopping center and visitors, including women.
The assertion of propagandists that the shopping center did not work looks extremely strange. The closure of the largest shopping center in the city could not go unnoticed by Internet users. But the queries “Amstor Kremenchug closed” and “Amstor Kremenchug is not working” can only find messages about the temporary closure of the shopping center in 2014. As of the evening of June 28, Google still marks Amstor as working.
The websites of some stores located in Amstor also did not have time to change the information about its work. Thus, the online pharmacy tabletka.ua still accepts orders with delivery at the Good Day pharmacy in Amstor.
According to Ukrayinska Pravda, more than 20 people died in Amstor, 59 were injured, there are more than 40 statements from relatives of missing persons who could be in the shopping center. Deutsche Welle reports 18 dead.