Fact-checking in partnership with Facebook.
Social networks spread information that a group of Ukrainian police and territorial defense members opened fire at civilian cars trying to leave Zaporizhzhia on the Nikopol Highway. The incident allegedly happened on March 17 and 21. Five people were killed and three injured.
They also quoted Volodymyr Rohov, a “member of the main council of the military-civil administration of the Zaporizhzhia region,” saying he knew about 37 cases of killings of civilians in Zaporizhzhia.
The propaganda outlets “Donbass Segodnya” and “Russkaya Vesna” published photos of the scene. However, one of the photos shows a Ukrainian police officer up close. It is not clear why police officers who had just fired shots at civilian cars let those wanting to take a picture of them get close.
Operation Z: Military correspondents of Russkaya Vesna
Nazi police officers fired shots at cars carrying people at the city exit.
On March 17 and 21, a group of police and territorial defense members fired shots at civilian cars trying to leave Zaporizhzhia on the Nikopol highway without stating the reasons. Five innocent people were killed and three more wounded. Local Telegram channels posted footage from the scene.
“As of now, I know about 37 cases of killing Zaporizhizhia civilians,” said Volodymyr Rogov, a member of the main council of the military-civil administration of the Zaporizhzhia region.
The photos’ origins could not be established. Photo metadata has been edited, making it impossible to verify the creation date.
However, there were reports of civilian cars being fired at by the russian military on March 17 and March 21.
According to Oleksandr Starukh, head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Civil Administration (ZRCA), russians fired a machine gun into a car, hitting a child in the face near Tokmak.
At 8:55 a.m. on March 21, russian military fired automatic weapons and hit two cars carrying civilians in the village of Malynivka, Pologi district, Zaporizhzhia region. The cars were going through the humanitarian corridor. Two children, three women, and one man were injured in the shooting.
According to russian military, the crime was allegedly committed by Ukraine’s armed forces. However, the victims completely refuted this disinformation.
ZRCA spokesman Ivan Arafyev added that such shootings were not uncommon.
“The russian military at checkpoints kind of initially allows civilian vehicles to pass from areas under constant shelling and bombing to safer regions. However, as soon as the car is 100-500 meters away, they open fire to kill. The occupiers don’t even pay attention to the fact that there are small children in the car,” UA:PBC quoted Arafyev as saying.
Shortly before that, on March 16, the Russian military had fired a heavy artillery barrage at a civilian convoy heading to Zaporizhzhia. Five people were injured, including a child in critical condition.
Volodymyr Rohov, mentioned by the propaganda outlets, is a pro-russian collaborator in occupied Melitopol. He does not hold any position in Zaporizhzhia or the region and cannot be an official source of information. On his social media pages, Rogov disseminates Russian fake stories about Nazism, biological weapons, “liberation” of territories by the “DPR army,” and the like, Media Detector writes. He calls the Russian occupiers a “liberation army.”
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