Tim Korso

March 21, 2022



Russia has repeatedly condemned the Ukrainian Armed Forces for deploying artillery and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) in densely populated areas of cities. Moscow said that by doing so, Kiev tries to draw Russian fire onto its own citizens in order to later accuse Russia of targeting them.

The Retroville shopping mall in Kiev, which was destroyed last night, was allegedly hosting Ukrainian Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) firing on Russian positions. Several videos making the rounds on social media purportedly show Ukrainian artillery moving in the vicinity of the shopping mall.

One video allegedly depicts at least one Ukrainian MLRS firing from what looks like the mall’s parking lot, located near a civilian apartment building.

Additionally, a photo distributed via Twitter shows what appears to be the now-destroyed mall serving as a temporary garage for Grad MLRS (NATO reporting name M1964).

Russia has repeatedly condemned tactics used by the Ukrainian military and nationalist battalions to deploy their artillery and MLRS units in areas densely populated by civilians. Moscow has alleged that this is done to provoke Russian forces into attacking civilian objects and then blame the casualties on Moscow.

The Russian Defence Ministry has stressed on several occasions that Russia’s Armed Forces do everything in their power to avoid hitting civilian infrastructure and avoid casualties among ordinary Ukrainians. Moscow and Kiev negotiated the establishment of humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from several cities, but Russian forces reported that in some areas, local nationalist battalions prevent people from leaving cities via the corridors and instead use them as human shields.

President Vladimir Putin ordered to start the special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February following a request from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) to protect them from attacks by Ukrainian forces. Putin said that the main goals of the mission are the demilitarisation and de-Nazification of Ukraine.