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29/07/2022
More than 50 dead, number of injured unknown (counting)

Mass murder of Ukrainian POWs in temporarily occupied Olenivka

prison in Olenivka,
The destroyed colony in Olenivka Photo: AP

The armed forces of the Russian Federation carried out a targeted attack on a colony in occupied Olenivka, the Donetsk region, where Ukrainian prisoners of war, including Mariupol defenders, were held. More than 50 people were killed in the explosion, and the number of wounded is unknown.

“In this way, the Russian occupiers pursued their criminal goals – to accuse Ukraine of committing “war crimes,” as well as to hide the torture of prisoners and executions,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated.

On June 29, Russian media reported about the attack: the Ministry of Defense of Russia claimed that The Armed Forces of Ukraine allegedly targeted a colony in occupied Olenivka.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine did not launch missile and artillery strikes in the area of Olenivka settlement according to the commander of the Missile Forces and Artillery of the Land Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 

The bodies of dead captured Ukrainian soldiers in the prison in Olenivka. Photo: AP

“Statements about the alleged shelling of civilian infrastructure and the population by the Armed Forces of Ukraine are outright lies and provocation, the responsibility of which is borne by Russia – the aggressor country, the occupier and the sponsor of terrorism,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

In this photo taken from video a view of a destroyed barrack at a prison in Olenivka. Photo: AP

The Security Service of Ukraine (the SSU) intercepted several telephone conversations in which the occupiers confirmed that Russian troops were to blame for the attack. A preliminary analysis of the available videos also shows an internal source might have caused the explosion.

“The windows in some rooms of the colony were completely preserved. That indicates that the explosion’s epicenter was inside the destroyed building. Its walls absorbed the blast waves and protected the neighboring premises,” the SSU stated.

Defenders of Mariupol were among prisoners of war, held in temporarily occupied Olenivka. On May 16-20, Ukrainian soldiers left Azovstal for the Russian-controlled territories with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross mediation. The key condition of this process was the obligation of Russia to preserve their life and health. 

This guarantee was violated. The Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, and the Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine issued a joint statement, demanding the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to respond to this act of terrorism and to send representatives to the colony in temporarily occupied Olenivka.

Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, also called on partners to strongly condemn this brutal violation of international humanitarian law and recognize Russia a terrorist state.

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