In the early hours of Monday morning, the Retroville Mall in northwestern Kyiv was struck by a Russian missile (likely an Iskander), causing heavy damage to the complex and reportedly killing eight people. While the attack was quickly condemned for targeting what is seemingly a civilian target, Russia’s Ministry of Defense came out to say that the mall had been abandoned and was being used to store weapons.
The Russian MoD posted a video showing that Ukraine was storing MLRS at the mall in Kyiv that was struck last night. Also notable that Russian Orlan-10 UAVs can operate over Kyiv. https://t.co/c0hLS31sLy pic.twitter.com/z7lfUs8fW3
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) March 21, 2022
Russia’s Ministry of Defense also released drone footage of a Ukrainian BM-21 Grad MLRS being tracked from a firing position to the mall, where it appears to back itself under the “Sports Life” gym that is attached to the complex. The footage then shows the missile strike on the shopping center in the same spot the BM-21 was previously seen. Undated photos that began to appear on Twitter showed what looked to be several other military trucks stored under the gym. Its unclear if they are other BM-21s as the Ural-375 chassis is commonly used for an array of other purposes.
In an pic taken beforehand, 4+ UA mil vehicles can be seen underneath; these may be MRL (BM-27/21) or supply trucks but unfortunately resolution is too bad to be totally sure. pic.twitter.com/oW73FpuGjj
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 21, 2022
It is unclear if the eight deaths from the strike were civilian or military. The mall has in fact been closed since February 24, as stated in a post by the shopping center’s official Facebook page, meaning that there shouldn’t have been many people in the complex regardless of the time. The damage was quite extensive and I have not seen any identifiable vehicle debris in aftermath photos and videos from the scene that matches back to the photo above. One thing that stood out to me throughout this entire incident is the drone footage. This is because the drone was likely an Oral-10 and appeared to have no issue tracking weapons systems around the capital.
WATCH: Aftermath after Russian airstrike hits mall in Kyiv; at least 8 dead pic.twitter.com/eTJwK0HGuW
— BNO News (@BNONews) March 21, 2022