Azov fighters who survived Olenivka among those returning home in latest prisoner swap

22 September, 01:08 PM
Consequences of the terrorist attack in Olenivka (Photo:REUTERS / Олександр Ermochenko)

Consequences of the terrorist attack in Olenivka (Photo:REUTERS / Олександр Ermochenko)

Ukrainian soldiers who survived earlier Russian false-flag attacks on the Russian prisoner-of-war camp in the occupied town of Olenivka are among those recently released as part of a wide-ranging prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced in a video posted in the early hours of Sept. 22.

The Ukrainian leader noted that there were eight such defenders of Ukraine.

According to Zelenskyy, they had suffered injuries following Russia’s staged attack on its own penal colony.

Earlier, the President said that Ukraine had returned 215 defenders from Russian captivity, including 108 Azov Regiment fighters.

Video of day

Over 40 Azov Regiment prisoners are believed to have been killed in the staged attack on the Olensivka prisoner-of-war camp on July 29. According to Ukrainian intelligence, explosions were recorded in Olenivka’s industrial zone, in a recently constructed building that was specially designated for holding Ukrainian soldiers who had surrendered at the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol, prior to that city’s capture by Russian forces. Some of the captured defenders of Ukraine were transferred there just two days prior.

Ukraine’s General Staff accused Russia of attacking the camp in order to claim that Ukraine was committing war crimes. The General Staff said that the Russians were attempting to cover up their torture and execution of Ukrainian prisoners at the site on the orders of the occupation administration by blaming Ukraine for their murder, instead.

Ukraine’s SBU security service published an intercepted conversation that it said confirms that it was the Russians who committed the mass murder of Ukrainian PoWs in the prison colony in Olenivka.

Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) reported that the order to carry out the attack was given by the nominal owner of the Russian Wagner mercenary company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin’s chef” because his companies used to organize banquets for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

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