Dmitry Peskov made a statement regarding the missile attack on Kramatorsk, which, according to the Ukrainian side, killed civilians:
“The Russian Federation does not strike at civilian infrastructure. The strikes are carried out on objects that are in one way or another connected with the military infrastructure.”
The first channel in the news program developed the idea of Putin's press secretary:
“In Ukraine, they are inflating a new scandal, trying to pass off another fake as the truth: allegedly, our military attacked a civilian facility in Kramatorsk. The dead are reported. But what really happened. The footage clearly shows: the building of the hotel, in the cafe of which, apparently, a shell hit. There are many people around in military uniforms and bulletproof vests, as well as military vehicles, tactical signs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are visible. Foreign speech is well heard.
In Ukrainian social networks they write: foreign instructors, mercenaries, as well as militants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine lived in this place. Booking services confirm: this hotel has been closed to civilian visitors. And earlier, photos appeared on social networks posted by one of the volunteers with Western instructors, geolocations were indicated. And also marked accounts that talked about the training of the military.”
"Rossiyskaya Gazeta" titled its material "During the strike in Kramatorsk, NATO instructors who held a meeting with officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed." However, she did not provide any confirmation of this information.
Partially destroyed by a Russian missile, the Kramatorsk Hotel has indeed not received guests lately; The Internet Archive shows that rooms could be booked at the end of March, and what happened in the hotel after that is unclear. Perhaps the military was stationed there, but it cannot be ruled out that it was simply closed due to low demand, which is quite natural in a front-line city.
But the blow did not hit the hotel building (Vasyl Stus Street, 45), which was only damaged by shrapnel. The rocket hit the shopping center directly adjacent to the hotel (Vasyl Stus Street, 45a), which is clearly seen in the video posted on Twitter by British journalist Christopher Miller, a correspondent for Radio Liberty in Ukraine.
The mall was home to RIA Pizza, a popular pizzeria in the city, which was full of customers at the time of the impact. Among the dead are three underage girls; also report an injured eight-month-old baby. There are also foreigners among the wounded: three Colombians - a deputy, a writer and a journalist. There were no reports of injured military instructors.
According to the Kremlin media, the venue of the “meeting” was inadvertently disclosed by a certain Ukrainian volunteer who posted geolocation-enabled photos with Canadian instructors on a social network. Rossiyskaya Gazeta even wrote :
“A Ukrainian volunteer could have uncovered a meeting place for NATO instructors in Kyiv-controlled Kramatorsk in the DPR before the attack by the Russian Armed Forces. Information about this appeared in the Telegram channels.
Moskovsky Komsomolets indicated that the source of information about the volunteer was the Telegram channel Newsach/Dvach.
It is clear from the channel’s message that Instagram user yula_skladana posted a photo with Canadian instructors at the Kramatorsk railway station and somewhere in the field exercises, that is, the version that the instructors had something to do with the Kramatorsk Hotel is not confirmed by anything. The hotel does not appear in her posts at all. However, in the same selection published by the News/Two channel, there is a post by one of the Canadians, where he signed under the photo of the destroyed pizzeria:
“God, this is where we always dined. There are no military installations and close.”