Debunking Russian fakes. No, there wasn’t a soldier base in Kharkiv hypermarket destroyed by Russia 

Yana Sliemzina - 31 May 2024 | 21:48

Russian propagandists spread information that at the moment of a Russian missile attack on the Kharkiv hypermarket “Epicenter,” the Ukrainian military was there. Let’s debunk this fake. 

What happened? 

Our chatbot Perevirka’s user sent us a post (archive) from the Telegram channel “Ukropskyi fresh” to check. The post said that soldiers were in the hypermarket at the moment of the bombardment. 

“The Ukrainian government tries to convince the country’s population that there have been no soldiers in the shopping mall in Kharkiv.” 


We’ve analyzed the post we’ve received. 

Let’s start with the fact that “Ukropskyi Fresh,” according to the information of the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, is 298th on a List of tools for hostile disinformation spreading

On May 25, around 4:02 a.m., Russia hit Kharkiv with two modified glide bombs, destroying a home-improving hypermarket with customers and employees inside. The fire in the aftermath spread to over 13,000 square meters. 

Gwara Media journalists did a photo report from a hypermarket destroyed by Russian bombardment. Read it here. 

As of May 29, the number of people killed by a bombardment of a hypermarket rose to 19. At least 48 people were injured. Two people are still considered missing. 

The Regional Prosecutor’s Office reported (archive) that they’ve managed to identify 13 people killed in the attack, among which are ten employees of a hypermarket and three customers. 

“Epicentr” representatives confirmed (archive) information about people, including their employees, being killed by Russian glide bombs on their official website.

A Russian glide bomb killed customers, too. As such, the head of the investigative department of Kharkiv National Police, Serhii Bolvinov, reported (archive) that the person’s body uncovered on the morning of May 27 belongs to 17-year-old Kyryl. He writes, “The boy lived in Kharkiv, and, that day, like dozens of other [Kharkiv] residents, came to the hypermarket. He was identified by DNA analysis; his mother provided the DNA samples.” 

8-year-old Myhailo’s father worked in a hypermarket’s home decor department and was inside during the bombardment. To find his dad, the boy came (archive) to give out his DNA samples. 

Video from the hypermarket

At least 20 people were in a shopping mall that became the center of a bombardment in the hypermarket, reported (archive) Regional Prosecutor’s Office. That number was established via surveillance cameras in the shopping mall. 

Authors of the post say that when the bomb hit, soldiers were in the hypermarket, and the shopping mall’s shops themselves have long closed down and moved out [of the shopping mall.] 

A video of the attack on “Epicentr” was posted (archive) by Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department for Kharkiv police. 

“You can clearly see that people were absolutely not ready for an attack, were [doing their job] and going around their business.” 

So, we have another example of Russians trying to conceal their own crimes against civilians with “military targets.” In reality, they attack residential areas, hypermarkets, and other civilian objects, violating laws and customs of war. 

Conclusion: Fake 

Author: Vasylyna Haviak 

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