This is a lie. On the morning of February 26 Russian troops shelled the southwestern suburbs of Kyiv with the aim of destroying the Ukrainian capital’s Zhuliany airport. The direction from which the missile flew demonstrates that it was a Russian missile.
Kremlin media and some social media accounts are actively disseminating fake claims that an apartment building in western Kyiv was hit by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile. The building is located on Lobanovsky Avenue in the Solomianka borough. The avenue forms part of the Ukrainian capital’s ring road.
According to the Smotrim web site “Circulated information that a Russian missile hit a residential building on Lobanovsky Avenue in Kyiv is not true… It is obvious that a malfunction occurred in the missile guidance system of the Ukrainian Buk-M1 medium range air defense system and the missile hit the corner of a residential building.”
Smotrim, which in Russian means looking, is a digital platform launched by the Russian state media in 2020. They are currently featuring special coverage under the banner “Special operation for the defense of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics”.
Kyiv’s mayor Vitaliy Klychko was the first to inform about the hit on the apartment building on Lobanovsky Avenue. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service conformed the information, saying that floors 17-18 of a multi-story building were hit.
Upon closer examination it becomes clear why the claims that it was a Ukrainian missile that hit the building cannot be true.
First, the volunteer Conflict Intelligence Team, which investigates the circumstances of armed conflicts, found out that the strike was launched from the north-west direction, and the possible target was most likely Sikorsky airport in Zhuliany, less than 2 kilometers from the place of impact. The Russian have shelled multiple Ukrainian airports as part of their invasion.
The map below shows the locations of the airport and the shelled apartment building.
Second, claims that it was specifically a Ukrainian Buk rocket are absurd considering how a Buk rocket actually behaves. According to a Ukrainian military expert, Buk missiles are specifically designed for air targets, not ground ones. The missile guidance system simply is not designed to hit ground targets. Also, each missile is programmed to self-destruct if it misses its target. The missile also has a ground-fall protection system. “These rockets do not fall. They all self-destruct at a certain height so as not to cause damage to ground objects” the expert explained.
This is confirmed by multiple videos that Kyiv residents took from different angles at the time of impact. They clearly show that this an air to ground missile. “If we look at wars in recent decades, it is impossible to find the use of Buk systems against ground targets. This is simply technically impossible to do” the military expert pointed out.
The Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that Russia is not attacking civilian targets in Ukraine. This is not true. Many residential buildings have been hit and StopFake has debunked Russian claims that they were not behind these bombings. The night the building on Lobanovsky Avenue was hit, Kyiv’s central children’s hospital Okhmadet was also targeted, killing one child.