Nov 06, 2023

By Jane Brown

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A criminal investigation has been launched in Ukraine into the planning of a ceremony to honour troops that was struck by a Russian missile, killing 19 soldiers.

In this photo provided by Odesa City Administration, Ukrainian emergency workers examine the site of a Russian rocket attack in central Odesa, Ukraine, early hours on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. (Odesa City Administration via AP)

A statement from the State Bureau of Investigation says it wants to hold military officials accountable for the Rocket Forces and Artillery Day event held Friday near the front line in Zaporizhzhia where Russian reconnaissance drones could easily spot the crowded gathered.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says it’s a “tragedy that could’ve been avoided.”

Certainly there has been far less attention paid to Vladimir Putin’s ongoing Russian war in Ukraine due to the Israel Hamas war, which Zelenskyy says has been to Russia’s benefit.

“Of course Russia understands that now when the focus from Ukraine is taken off and when this focus to the Middle East, and when they try to divide the world in this Israel Palestininan crisis, then of course, Russia is very happy with this war,” Zelenskyy told NBC’s Meet The Press on Sunday.

Monday’s announcement about the 19 Ukrainian soldier deaths comes as Ukrainian defence representatives say Russian drone and missile strikes damaged an Odesa art museum that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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