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Russian Missile Attack on the Rivne Region: 4 Dead, Car Shop and Car Wash Destroyed

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On June 25, the Russian military launched two missile strikes on Sarny, Rivne Region, at 7:20 p.m. The missiles were fired from a plane in Belarusian airspace, according to the head of the Sarny District State Administration, Oleksandr Kokhan. 

They only targeted civilian infrastructure: an airstrike destroyed a car shop and a car wash. Twelve people were wounded and four others died. 

The owner of the car shop, Yevhen Melnykov, said the building had been destroyed almost to the ground and could not be rebuilt. The car shop with an area of almost 500 square meters was supposed to open in March, but the Russian invasion interfered with the plans. Yevhen said he was afraid something would hit the building. And it did. According to the owner’s estimates, the market value of the damage was at least $500,000.

“I had a car wash nearby. A stationary car wash with three posts and two self-service posts. All that’s left of the car wash is a hole in the ground. There’s not even a trace left. While I have three walls still standing, there’s only a hole there. It hit the car squarely. My building was next to it, and it was the blast wave that destroyed my premises,” said Yevhen.

The car shop was the man’s family business. According to Yevhen, he has been working with cars since he returned from the army, and he has another car shop in the city. He started building the one that was destroyed by the Russians back in 2008. It has been undergoing cosmetic repairs for the last three years with plans to open soon. Now, Yevhen is cleaning up the rubble. He says it may take more than a month. His work is self-funded:

It has to be brought to a condition where no one gets hurt. It needs to be cleaned out, there are bricks and slabs hanging there. It’s not guarded. The city authorities helped a little with cleaning the rubble for the first two days, and now I’m on my own.”

This is how Yevhen’s car shop looked before the Russian missile strike

This is what’s left of it.


Sarny city mayor Ruslan Serpeninov said that 21 residential buildings, 20 private businesses, and a dormitory within a radius of two kilometers were damaged as a result of the strike. Almost all the houses suffered damage to their roofs. Wooden structures and walls were damaged in buildings closer to the explosion’s center.

Roman Nabuhotnyi witnessed the missile attack in person. During the air-raid alarm, he was about to leave his apartment when he heard a powerful blow. He saw the missile flying a minute and a half before the explosion: “I rushed to the balcony, I saw a huge column of black smoke. There was chaos in the courtyard, the residents began to scatter.”

As a result of the missile strike, the Prosecutor General’s Office opened a case for violations of the laws and customs of war. 

DIANA ZUBAR

This article was produced by Bihus.Info as part of the program “Supporting Ukraine’s Regional Media in Times of War” with the financial support of the European Union and the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of Norway. The content is the sole responsibility of Bihus.Info and does not reflect the views of the European Union, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

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