MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. A convoy of refugees in the Kharkov Region was using civilian vehicles bearing large "children" signs so Ukrainian troops could clearly see who they were targeting, the head of the region’s military-civilian administration said.
"As to whether they knew whom they were shelling, I can say with a hundred percent certainty that they knew. Because those were all civilian vehicles, four cars and a minibus. They were all clearly marked. All the evacuees painted a large ‘children on board’ sign, which could be seen from afar," Vitaly Ganchev told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Thursday.
According to the official, the caravan of refugees was shelled at close range and there is information that grenade launchers were used. "The column was shelled with small arms. And there is intel that grenade launchers were used. <...> Since they were using small arms, they were shooting at point-blank range, meaning they were in close proximity," he said.
Ganchev confirmed information that about 30 people had been killed. "The shelling occurred while people were being evacuated. On the 27th, residents from the Kupyansky district fled shelling by the Ukrainian army towards the Lugansk People’s Republic along the road to Svatovo," he explained. "There are orphaned children. It is necessary to establish their relatives in order to support them in every way," the official added.
On Tuesday, in the Kharkov Region, Ukrainian troops shelled a five-car civilian convoy which was trying to leave Kupyansk for Russia. As a result, about 30 people were killed while seven refugees, including two children, were hospitalized.