On May 6, 2022, five civilians, including a woman and a child, were reportedly killed by an alleged Russian-planted exploding mine when attempting to evacuate to Kharkiv by car from Kupyansk.
According to a post shared by the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office’s Telegram channel, Ukrainian authorities first became aware of this incident when approached by a member of the public. The post gives further information regarding the identities of the civilians affected and the circumstances that led to their reported deaths, stating “pre-trial investigation established that people tried to evacuate from Kupyansk to Kharkiv. According to preliminary data, the car with passengers hit a mine. A 50-year-old woman, a 17-year-old boy and three men aged 19, 20 and 41 were in the car – all of them died.”
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, on October 3 the information given was confirmed when officials visited the site of the reported incident. On this, the post states, “prosecutors together with explosives experts, forensic experts and police investigators conducted an inspection of the scene, during which a burnt-out car and the bodies of the dead were discovered.” Five photographs of this scene were provided on the Prosecutor’s Office’s Telegram Channel, which show burned money, a damaged tire, and other debris in a field near what appears to be a small crater. The Office has stated that a pre-trial investigation has been launched in relation to these events for the alleged “violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder.”
This event has been covered by numerous Ukrainian outlets, including DonPatriot News, which differed from the Prosecutor’s Office on the age of one of the alleged victims, reporting, “It is known that these 5 people are residents of Kupyansk, who tried to evacuate to Kharkiv on their own by car on May 6, but encountered a racist mine on the way. Among them are a 41-year-old, a 18-year-old, a 19-year-old, a 20-year-old, and a 50-year-old.”
MediaPort and Suspilne Media, GX, and Obozrevatel all reported on this event, attributing responsibility for the placement of the mine to Russian forces.
This assessment has reference to ACLED code UKR75457 and UKR76971.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (7) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the village of Vasylenkove (Василенкове), for which the generic coordinates are: 49.77798, 37.03764. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.