The Azov Regiment considers the attack on a penal colony in Olenivka, which killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war, to be an act of public execution by the Russia authorities, Major Mykyta Nadtochiy, acting commander of Azov, said in a video address on July 31.
Nadtochiy said that Russians are used to the fact that no one will hold them accountable, even for openly violating the laws, customs, and rules of war, allowing them to act with impunity.
"Therefore, we, Azov, Ukraine as a state, and the entire civilized world will fight back so that Russia remembers this once and for all," Nadtochiy stated.
“We are already establishing the names of the perpetrators and organizers of the execution of our prisoners. We have some preliminary information, but we are not ready to announce it yet. We will find them wherever they are – in the occupied territories of Ukraine, in Russia, or in third countries. Ukraine as a state will ensure a fair punishment.”
He noted that Russia initially lied about its lack of involvement in the attack, though on July 30, it seemingly confirmed its responsibility for the massacre with a statement from its embassy in the United Kingdom, which said that the Azov fighters "deserve to be executed by hanging."
"You yourself will be executed along with your jackals and embassies,” the acting commander stated, addressing Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, whom Azov says it holds personally responsible for the killings.
“All as you like, with all the red tape. According to a decision of the international tribunal, this barbarian sub-empire will be destroyed. Russia thinks it killed Azov, thinks it executed it. But Azov is now the whole country. Every Ukrainian will take revenge for every martyred and dead brother of ours.”
According to Ukrainian intelligence, on July 29, explosions were recorded in the town’s industrial zone, in a recently constructed building that was intended to be specially designated for holding Ukrainian soldiers who had surrendered at Azovstal. Some of the captured defenders of Ukraine were transferred there just two days prior.
Ukraine’s General Staff said on July 29 that Russia had attacked the prison in Olenivka in order to accuse Ukraine of committing war crimes, while covering up the torture and executions of prisoners committed at the site on the orders of the occupation administration and the command of the Russian invasion forces in occupied parts of Donetsk Oblast.
Ukraine’s SBU security service published an intercepted conversation that it said confirms that it was the Russians who committed the mass murder in the colony in Olenivka. The SBU noted that judging by video clips from social media, the windows in some buildings of the colony were completely intact — this may indicate that the epicenter of the explosion was inside the destroyed building.