Thursday's attack by the Russian army on the village of Hroza in Ukraine's Kharkiv Oblast, which killed at least 51 civilians, was definitely a war crime, says security expert Rainer Saks.
"I think in this case it was a rather deliberate attack," Saks told ETV show "Terevisoon" on Friday, admitting that Russian forces have also sometimes carried out random attacks in which civilians have been killed.
This time, however, the attack on a cafe and shop in the village of Hroza, Kharkiv Oblast was not random, Saks said. He pointed out that just a few hours earlier there had been a similar attack in the town of Berislav, Kherson Oblast, in which a hospital building had been hit. In that case, the Ukrainians had been prepared for it, and were able to evacuate people.
"So, I think it was quite deliberate and therefore undoubtedly a war crime," Saks added.
Saks explained that the village of Hroza, which was attacked on Thursday, is located in a frontline area into which Russia is extending its attacks with artillery.
"The worst thing about these attacks is that usually there is no advance warning. Advance warning is perhaps given to the military via their own information channels, but it doesn't get through [to civilians]. And the artillery systems work very fast," he said.
Saks also pointed out that Russian forces are attacking "quite systematically" in villages close to the front line. Ukrainian civilians have been evacuated from some areas, however, often people do not want to leave their homes.
Saks also said he is waiting to see what the reaction would be from those countries that have recently called for there to be no rush to provide further support for Ukraine.
The Russian missile attack on the village of Hroza, in the Kupiansk district of Ukraine's Kharkiv Oblast, hit a café and shop, at approximately 1.15 p.m. local time on Thursday, October 5.
Ukrainian officials said on Thursday that at least 51 people had been killed in the attack, including a six-year-old child. The village is located 30 kilometers west of frontline town Kupiansk. Prior to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it had been home to around 500 people.
Editor: Michael Cole