Highest price war mistakes: Beresteiska metro station shootout at the early days of Kyiv siege

One year ago, on February 26, 2022 when the russian full-scale invasion began, the Kyiv siege attempt, on Peremohy Avenue near the Beresteiska metro station an highest price war mistake was done. An unknown Ukrainian unit for unknown reason mistook several cars with eight Ukrainian servicemen for saboteurs and shot them at close range. They all died. The relatives of eight servicemen of the 101st brigade, who were shot by "friendly fire" on February 26, 2022, near the Beresteiska metro station in Kyiv, demand those responsible for the accident be criminally charged.

We publish this material not to raise waves of distrust to the Ukrainian authorities or to the Ukraine Armed Forces. We are sure more than ever before, justice will be found. But it must be found not after the end of this war. Ukrainian men risk their lives 24/7, so let them all be save as maximum as possible. And all mistakes must be fixed, those guilty must be held accountable, and conclusions must be made. We believe our President and our Commander-in-Chief do care about what Ukrainian mothers that lost their sons feel.

Yuriy Butusov investigates:

"When I hear that the authorities did not warn the population about the coming war, and did not deploy Territorial defense and operational reserve, so as not to cause panic, I think of dozens of soldiers and civilians killed by "friendly fire" due to poor organization and management at the beginning of the war. Because those who, instead of preparing, said that "we should not provoke Russia; we will eat barbecues in May", on February 24, 2022, suddenly ordered to hand out automatic weapons from vehicles to random people without passports. And the lack of preparation turned into real panic and many deaths.

On February 26, on Peremohy Avenue near the Beresteyska metro station, an unknown Ukrainian unit for unknown reason mistook several cars with 8 servicemen for saboteurs and shot them at close range. These were 7 conscript soldiers, including 20-year-old Ruslan Chumachenko, and their Commander, Lieutenant Yuriy Syrota. They all died. Ruslan was the only child in the family. That shooting was initially called a "battle" and "destruction of the enemy's subversive reconnaissance group."

Ruslan's mother Maryna Tolkachenko turned to me because she wants to see that the case brought by the SBI is not hushed up, the guilty officials to be set, a trial to be held and conclusions to be drawn and, thus, new tragedies to be prevented. 

The death certificate of soldier Chumachenko indicates the place of death - the Beresteyska metro station, February 26. This is the price of time, management, preparation, or rather - their absence in this case. Weapons were distributed without appointing competent commanders, establishing communication, so not one, but several groups of our fighters were in our rear and were killed as a result of friendly fire. And this happened in many places.

Indeed, there are cases of friendly fire in all armies at war. Sometimes in the chaos of a real battle with the enemy, friends can be mistaken for enemies, when the enemy is close. But the shooting near the Beresteyska metro station and other shootings of cars in Kyiv in February took place in the deep rear, very far from the front, without any contact with the real enemy, and the situation itself was in no way similar to the actions of the enemy's subversive reconnaissance group, and not demanded to open fire near the city center on cars moving around the city. By the way, despite the officials' statements about saboteurs in Kyiv, no real enemy's subversive reconnaissance group was discovered, and there are no facts of their actions in Kyiv at the moment.

That's what panic is - real panic due to management chaos and lack of time for organization and preparation. This could have been prevented in one way - to deploy the Territorial defense forces on time, at least a month or at least a week before the start of the war.

Both Ruslan and Yuriy have been officially recognized as killed in action, their families have received adequate compensation, they have no material demands, they only want one thing - that conclusions be drawn from this tragedy in order to protect someone else from the same misfortune.

The case is now with the State Bureau of Investigation. We will cover this case.

But we all must remember - only one thing can overcome panic - TIMELY PREPARATION. And hiding the lack of action with words about "avoidance of panic" is irresponsible, and law enforcement agencies should deal with this."

Ukraine Front Lines


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