Talk:Civilian convoy attacked between Kupiansk and Svatove

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Front end of the convoy looking back towards Kurylivka



September 25 according to @Suspilne_news


Just outside Kurylivka heading east. Zoom Earth

On a section of track between Kurylivka and Pischane. The Ukrainians didn't capture Pischane till later in October so this would have been at the limit of their control. If the convoy had made it to Pischane (just 2km on from the scene) they would probably have been safe from this type of attack.--Diagonal (talk) 13:42, 25 October 2022 (UTC)

Body of water railway.png

The apparent location based on finding a body of water close to the tracks, is on the line just outside the outskirts of Kupiansk. With the convoy heading away to the east and south east. We can say that it was attacked just as it was leaving Ukrainian frontlines. --Diagonal (talk) 10:49, 4 October 2022 (UTC)

I now think that the victims were fleeing from Eastern Kubiansk in late September before the Russian garrison on the east of the Oskol river was abandoned September 28.--Diagonal (talk) 13:17, 5 October 2022 (UTC)
Fighting around Kurlivka between 24 and 27 Sept

It had already been geolocated here and here (twitter). Shown within current (Oct 4) Ukrainian lines.

Approx 250m behind the vehicles is a track connecting the end of the road vulytsia Lozova with the railway track. (Satellite)

(Lines shown on Oct 4)


See main page


The Usual Suspects? Kraken: Liberation of Kupyansk-Vuzlovoi and Kivsharivka. End of September Pictured is Sergey Vilichenko (more)

The attack seems to have taken place just as the convoy had left the far outskirts of Kubiansk, at the approx limit of Ukrop control. There do not appear to be signs of explosions from artillery, rockets or airstrikes. Is seems that the victims were shot by automatic fire and some vehicles burned, including a truck where several burnt corpses are seen. The video footage was probably taken a few days later, judging by the amount of flies around the bodies. One victim is seen having exited his vehicle, presumably shot whilst trying to escape. As with the strike at the Zaporozhzhia checkpoint the vehicles are packed with heavy travel bags.

The Ukrainian line about about a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group shooting the convoy up, kids and all, begs the question of how the Ukrainians knew that is what happened and why they subsequently felt safe to film at the scene. --Diagonal (talk) 10:37, 5 October 2022 (UTC)

FWIW, the cars generally look to have been shot up on their left (driver) side from the northern side of the tracks. --Diagonal (talk) 15:08, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
This video of scene shows driver with blanket over legs perhaps indicating they were driving at night. 3rd car looks to have been shunted off track. --Diagonal (talk) 16:33, 4 December 2022 (UTC)

Kraken using a compound backing onto the tracks nearby?

Good match for a compound off volytsia Lozova close to the tracks - Source The BTR had been captured, its Z marking painted over
Location on Google Earth

Bullet holes in the cars imply the attack came from behind and to the left side. Less than 1km away from the scene is a slip track to the railway from a small compound shown in the pictures here. The compound backs onto the railway line. The scenario that I get from this, would be that once the civilian convoy had made it to the far eastern end of Kuralivka, where there is another side track from 'volytsia Lozova' - the road on which the compound is found - the Kraken unit then approached and attacked the convoy from behind in their vehicles, probably including the BTR vehicle pictured below.

According tothe head of the Kharkov regional prosecutor’s office Oleksandr Filchakov :

"On the car bodies, parts of high-explosive shells of 30 and 45 mm were found. According to the findings of our French colleagues, they belong to military guns located on heavy military equipment ... In addition, metal remains of shells were found in 16 civilian corpses they examined. They identified these shells and the weapon they were fired from… It looks like VOG-17 and VOG-25 [fragmentation grenade launcher shots]," Filchakov said at a briefing on Thursday.

Anybody who tried to flee the ambush was likely pursued. A few days later (Sept 30) photos of the scene began to circulate and with the Ukrainians blaming a Russian patrol.

--Diagonal (talk) 09:40, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

The VOG 17 and VOG 25 traces likely came from underbarrel grenade launchers. I can't see them fitted in the pictures below, but I take it that the rifles they had could have been so fitted. --Diagonal (talk) 13:12, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
VOG 17v
I've seen social media reports of VOGs dropped from drones (in unrelated attacks). Under-barrel use, also possible, --Resup (talk) 13:20, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Ru Wikipedia: During the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, military personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine used VOG-17 grenades as anti-personnel mines, and were also dropped from handicraft converted civilian drones
Slip access from compound is less than 1km away from scene


BTR 70 or BTR 80 or 90 I guess. BTR 80 variants have 30mm cannon. The vehicle is in production and the Russian Army ordered 100 in 2006. The vehicle is also in service with the Ukraine and has been sold to Hungary, Turkey, Macedonia and Bangladesh.

Probably a BTR-80A
On the BTR-80A (in service since 1994) and BTR-80S, the standard BTR-80 turret is replaced with a modular armaments system. The BTR-80A is fitted with a 30mm 2A72 automatic gun and 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun…. The 30mm gun has a maximum firing rate of 330 rounds a minute and can fire AP-T (armour piercing – tracer), HEF-I (high-explosive fragmentation – incendiary) and HE-T (high-explosive – tracer) rounds.[1] --Diagonal (talk) 14:38, 31 October 2022 (UTC)

This unit had captured a Russian APC shown here: video - (Stated that they captured 2 APCs)

I believe that the other vehicle behind the BTR is a Varta, (see also) - ... the ringed perimeter of the vehicle is equipped with ten-gun ports, each of which has the potential to house a UBGL (Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher).

The other vehicle is most likely a Roshel Senator APC (Canadian built). The Senator offers various gun ports, escape hatches, and a freaking turret up top that Roshel says can be fitted with “mission-specific equipment and modifications.”

Subsequent footage showed them using quad bikes in the area of Kubiansk Vuzlovyi and Kurylivka.

KrakenVehicles.png Pick-up.png KrakenQuadandPickup.png

Summary Outline (Best Explanation)?

Ukrainian sources reported the massacre took place on the morning of September 25th. It is not stated how the local authorities knew this detail. Nor is it explained why the incident wasn’t reported for five days. The dead were apparently left unattended at the scene during that period.

Ukrainian authorities attributed the savagery to a Russian ‘reconnaissance and sabotage’ patrol. No supporting evidence for the claim was provided.

Here examining the location and context of the attack, I present the case that the atrocity was the work of a Ukrainian ‘Kraken’ unit. Self described as being, since February, Special forces of the Ukrainian Intelligence and Security Directorate. Kraken was a Kharkov based affiliate of the extremist Azov Battalion. The heinous nature of the group’s conduct has raised human rights concerns even amongst generally pro-Ukraine liberal commentators.

The unit is documented to have been active in the locale at that time. Ukrainian media had announced the groups victories in Eastern Kubiansk on Sept 16 and then in Kubiansk-Uzlozovia on September 27. Photos and video they had taken of their activity, including stepping on dead Russian soldiers were proudly shared online. Their faces are obscured in the published photos, except for one. A Kraken field commander; a notorious criminal who had been released by Ukrainian authorities from prison to fight in March, Sergey Vilichenko aka ‘Chile’. In March, he was responsible, for shooting the knees of surrendered Russian PoWs. The perpetrators had filmed their own crimes. Chile is wanted by the Russian authorities who put up a reward for his capture.

Returning to the convoy, it was attempting to leave the Eastern Kubiansk area which had recently come under control of Ukrainian military, but was still seeing clashes, as Russian forces tried a couple of attacks in the area in late September. The convoy was heading out east on the railway line which then curves round to the south-east towards Svatove which was under LPR/Russian control. The cars were packed with heavy travel bags. This was not any day excursion. The journey would involve passing across the front lines.

When the convoy passed the farthest point of Kurylivka (a settlement on the outskirts of east Kubiansk) it followed the track that runs along side the railway. The cars would only be some 250-300 metres further on from that point when they were shot up by small arms fire. Had the convoy made it further to the next settlement of Pischane, some 2km on from the scene, they likely would have passed into Russian controlled territory and made it alive to Svatove.

According to quotes from investigators working under the auspices of the local authorities, 30mm and 45mm shells that likely came from heavy military vehicles were used in addition to lighter arms. Featured are photos from a Kraken telegram account that show them in front of their vehicles in nearby Kubiansk-Uzlozovia locale late September. They pose in front of a captured Russian armoured personnel carrier (likely a BTR-80).

I believe the convoy was attacked with heavy vehicles such as those pictured. The use of a captured Russian vehicle could potentially allow forensic findings to falsely implicate Russian forces.

Within 1km of the scene, the convoy would have passed, just before the end of the village, a small compound that evidence suggests was used by the unit. Once the civilians had passed the compound, the sadistic criminals drove their vehicles onto the track, pursued the convoy and opened fire. Probably they had a pick-up with men ready to jump out and finish off the civilians.

Photos of the scene suggest that the rear of the convoy was passed on its left side by the Kraken vehicles – as shown by the bullet holes on their left sides. Whilst the front cars of the convoy went (or were shunted) off the embankment to the left, with the attackers passing and shooting them from behind and the right. Two other bodies were subsequently found nearby, presumably they were hunted down and killed after attempting to flee the scene. (Potentially could have been witnesses)

If the Kraken unit was indeed operating from that compound, it would have been easy for them to see the convoy and let it pass without alerting the civilians to any threat. (They may have had foreknowledge of the convoy or just acted in the moment)

I believe the scenario I have offered accounts for the logistics of the attack. The variables of who, how and from where are all supported by the evidence provided. Means, method, opportunity and motive are all accounted for.

Means – vehicles probably including captured Russian APC’s
Method – let the civilians pass then follow and attack from the vehicles
Opportunity – provided by the location of the compound between the road and the tracks where the civilians had just passed
Motive – fanatical hatred of those Russian identifying Ukrainians, by those with a proven record of extreme violence.

Alternative accounts and attributions will likely be more complicated or have to leave rather more unexplained.

The scene was later discovered, probably by different Ukrainian unit, who may have been unaware of who carried it out. The incident could though be used to bolster the narrative of Russia wantonly killing civilians that was featuring in the media that day after the shelling of the Zaporozhzhia checkpoint Sept 30.

--Diagonal (talk) 08:38, 28 October 2022 (UTC)

VOGs are basically grenades shot from automatic grenade launcher (1, 2). That can be mounted on a vehicle, including trucks or can be carried and fired like a machine gun, with weight of some 30 kg, and range of 1.7-2.0 km. Note that first and last (people carrier) cars are burned, while middle card are hit. If somebody attacked the convoy, that would be a way to do it, trying to have the convoy stopped and take more fire. It's unlikely Russians would send RSG into an area they are withdrawing from, or just withdrew. Ukrainians were sending RSG into Russian territory before taking over; thereafter they would have checkpoints, and having AGS at checkpoints would be sensible. I do not see why Russians would send there armored vehicles, BMP/BTR (which are vulnerable to antitank weapons and could be burned, especially since the area is Ukr controlled overall); while carrying AGS by RSG group on foot seems inconvenient, it more suited for prepared/stationary position or a vehicle. It is hard to be sure from which side the fire was coming from. Front portion of roof buckling up may be from explosion in front. There are holes on the left side and the front windshield left side of one car, but that can be machine gun, or it can be exit holes; while a nearby car does not have visible holes on the visible left side. I cannot see clearly whether there are holes in the frontmost burned car. Several cars have all glass broken, people dead, with not much holes clearly seen. Grenades, maybe. A witness/'witness' on SBU video is telling that it was 9 am, on the 25th , that fire came from the left side, that she was in the front car, where she was the only survivor, while husband, child, driver, and grandma were killed, and that the car burst in flames after she ran off. She is also telling that survivors were finished off, not explaining how she could see it while running away (or otherwise both see and survive); she is also not assigning the blame, apart from the left side fire. She is also claiming they were escaping to Ukraine, although that contradicts the route taken. (Needless to say that SBU videos are not trustworthy---even if the witness turns out to be real) --Resup (talk) 00:25, 5 December 2022 (UTC)

There are lighter launcher weapons using VOGs; those can be handmade/DIY; or there are Russian under-barrel launchers, but for a lighter, different caliber grenade, VOG 25; or there is Ukrainian RG1 "Piston", for VOG17 (said to be used?).

Soviet-origin weapons in Ukraine are typically used by both sides; Russians would have no reason, military or mental, to target civilian convoy. Even if it's RSG, they would have military, not civilian targets, this is basic and main point of the whole campaign. --Resup (talk) 06:05, 5 December 2022 (UTC)

As far as I was able to piece together the Russian's had likely withdrawn from fighting for the area sometime around the 21st Sept and I'm guessing the captured BTR was likely taken about then. Other sources for #Kurylivka boasted over Russian tanks. It was said that the Russian's tried a couple of unsuccessful counter attacks 24 and maybe 27 Sept. I could make all that context clearer in my piece.
I thought it likely from the location just past the end of the village that a) the civilians hadn't been deterred on their route by seeing anyone ahead and b) that the attackers would be not waiting to ambush in open country around the tracks, over the edge of no man's land. The attack would be quick and easy using vehicles. If an AGS was used it could perhaps have been mounted on the roof of IMV like the Roshel Senator pictured. The quote on forensic findings also mentioned high explosive 30mm and 45mm rounds.
I don't know about Kraken's fighting prowess compared to regular formations. I guess they are probably mainly left to mopping up and various more psychological ops. --Diagonal (talk) 22:08, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Eastern Kupiansk, timeline work in progress


The Ukrainian Kraken Regiment has published a video in which its soldier says that his unit has liberated the eastern part of Kupiansk today. The eastern part of the city has been separated from the rest of Kupiansk by the Oskil river...Also, a graphic video filmed in the eastern part of Kupiansk is circulating on social media which shows a gunned-down Russian vehicle with dead bodies of Russian soldiers lying nearby.

Sept 26

From Kraken's footage of clearing the cement works which are close to the railway tracks on which the massacre was committed. Satellite map
We recall that on September 16, it became known that the AFU had liberated Kupyansk from the Russian occupiers. However, the city still suffers from enemy strikes. Thus, on September 26, Russian troops shelled Kupyansk, which resulted in burning a church, school, an outbuilding, and a store. Five people were hospitalized because of the enemy shelling. They are all residents of the Kupyansk district.
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported about liberation from Russian occupiers urban-type settlement Kupyansk-Uzlovaya in the Kharkiv region. This is stated in a post in Telegram channel GUR. “Today, September 27, 2022, another city, Kupyansk-Uzlovoi, was liberated by the special forces of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense KRAKEN. Finally, we can verify this event,” the report says.


A Ukrainian 'Varta' IMV/APC nearby September 2022

Video: Ukraine kraken fighters operation to liberate Kupiansk-Vuzlovyi village - Ukraine Leaks, October 19, 2022


Video available elsewhere on Telegram
Picked up british tabloid scum Ukrainian Kraken unit liberates Kupyansk in Kharkiv Oblast - The Sun, November 7, 2022



25 Sept: Twitter: @UAWeapons - Failed Russian attack in vicinity

12 Oct:

Currently, measures are being taken to seize cars for further comprehensive forensic examinations.


WIkipedia:By 13 October, Ukrainian forces advanced southeast and captured Pishchane, Berestove, Tabaivka, and Krokhmalne, all around Kharkiv-Luhansk border, and even footages showed Ukrainian forces capturing Russian troops who voluntarily surrendered near the N26 highway in Krokhmalne, about 20km northwest of Svatove.[12]


Battle summaries

Advance according to Ukraine News Oct 2

Wikipedia had it that all of Kubiansk had fallen to Ukraine on Sept 16, but this seems incorrect. According to @imatronink - Sept 30, 2022 The Russians garrison east of the Oskol was holding up until Sept 28.

Nor have the subsequent “filtration” purges of “Russian collaborators” in each of these towns and villages been reported in the completely one-sided western media accounts. Instead, western audiences were once again treated to evidence-free atrocity tales of barbaric Russian troops engaging in wanton rapes, murders, plunder, torture, indiscriminate massacres, and mass graves of innocent civilians...
The Russians established their primary line of defense on the eastern bank of the Oskol River. Every day for the past two weeks, Ukrainian reports claimed that the AFU had taken or were about to take Kupyansk, which sits astride the river. But it was never true until two days ago, when the Russian forces in the eastern part of the city finally ceded it to the Ukrainians – but not before having inflicted a massacre entirely disproportionate to their own losses, and notwithstanding having continually faced attacking forces many times their own number.
When one travels east from that town, there are three big villages creating an ‘arc’ around the eastern side of Kupyansk. From north towards south, these are Petorpavlivka, Kurylivka, and Kivsharivka. Petropavlivka is a particularly interesting place, stretching some 5–6 km from one to the other side and that along multiple roads that in turn are creating several ‘Us’, with opening towards the north-east and south-east. A very long, ‘big village’.
Around 20–21 September, what I — lacking info on exact designations — call the ‘Kupyansk Group ZSU’ (3rd Tank, 14th and 92nd Mech, Kraken Regiment, perhaps the Donbas Battalion, and few other units), completed mopping up eastern Kupyansk and then advanced further east and south, into Petropavlivka, Kurylivka, and Kivsharivka.
Apparently, the first to go was the T-90s-equipped 27th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade. It attacked Kurylivka on 24 September, and lost a number of T-90s knocked out or abandoned in the process (even days later, Ukrainians were still collecting pieces of that unit around the battlefield).
On Tuesday, 27 September, the Russians went for Kurylivka again — with exactly the same result: lost another BTG. Then, think it was Thursday, they went for Kivsharivka — and promptly lost the next BTG. In these two clashes, Ukrainians actually let the Russians enter the villages, then attacked from several sides: the Russians run away — as far as they could: dozens were killed.

Punitive operations, Kharkiv region

From Texas Bentley's Telegram, Septemeber 13

From Oleg Tsarev, a true Patriot and Human Being. He has been right all along, and he IS right, and HAS THE RIGHT to be angry and ashamed at this giant Russian military fuckup in Kharkov. READ -
Subscribers ask me not to escalate. And I'm blowing up again.
Why am I bringing up this particular topic? Because once again we are abandoning and deceiving people who trusted Russia. They abandoned and deceived some, leaving three regions near Kyiv. Now the same thing happened near Kharkov. And if the most decisive actions are not taken at the front, then after the Kharkiv region there will be Kherson and Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
A real punitive operation has been launched on the territory of the Kharkov region. The Ukrainians approached the identification of people who supported Russia very systematically and as harshly as possible: the Kraken group, the police and the SBU were brought into the territory left by the allied forces. A large-scale search has been launched for people who collaborated with the CAA and who trusted Russia. It must be understood that our divisions and administrations left the region so hastily that documents remained on the ground, including lists of employees of some CAAs, lists of enterprises that have already come under the jurisdiction of Russian legislation, lists of state employees who have already come to work under the new government.
They can't leave. The territory is closed, and there is a filtration. Telegram channels ( ) have been launched in different municipalities, they are being written about today ( ), where information about our supporters is collected.
I receive reports that there are thousands of detainees, many are shot on the spot. They paint the letter “Z” on the houses of our people so as not to forget to deal with them later.

9 Oct: Alexander Kots: "Ukrainian neo-Nazi Zhorin from "Azov" * showed footage of the massacre of the civilian population of Kupyansk". The militant first wrote that it was Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region, "Civilian population. There will be retribution!" After a wave of criticism, he added that the video was allegedly from the phone of a certain "occupier".