Russia shells Olenivka prison camp again

18 September, 07:48 PM
After explosion in the colony in Olenivka on July 29, several dozen Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed (Photo:REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko)

After explosion in the colony in Olenivka on July 29, several dozen Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed (Photo:REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko)

A prison camp in the occupied town of Olenivka, where Russia is holding Ukrainian POWs, has once again been shelled, Donetsk puppet authorities claimed on Sept. 18.

The Russian occupying authorities claim that one Ukrainian prisoner of war was killed, and four others were wounded during the shelling, which they falsely blamed on Ukraine.

Ukraine has not yet officially commented on this situation, and neither the Association of Azovstal Defenders' Families or the press service of the Azov battalion have likewise spoken about this alleged incident at time of publication.

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What’s known about the killing of Ukrainian POWs in Olenivka

According to Ukrainian intelligence, on July 29, explosions were recorded in Olenivka’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 accused Russia of attacking its own prison 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.

Russian media reported that at least 53 captured Ukrainian servicemen had died in the blasts. The following day, the Russian Ministry of Defense published a list of 42 dead prisoners. Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General’s Office says that about 40 people died and 130 were injured as a result of the explosions.

Ukrainian ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said that the list of names of the dead has not been provided to him. According to him, Ukraine has begun a repatriation process for the deceased, and he has demanded the Russians provide him access to the scene.

Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate reported that the order to murder the Azov Regiment prisoners of war was given by the nominal owner of the Wagner mercenary company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin’s chef” because his companies used to organize banquets for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

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.

Judging by video clips from social media, the SBU noted that the windows in some buildings of the prison complex can be seen to be completely in-tact — this may indicate that the epicenter of the explosion was inside the destroyed building, and was not caused by external shelling.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which served as a mediator when Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol surrendered, said that they were "familiar with the situation" and offered assistance in the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers in Olenivka and the free transfer of medicines, protective equipment and materials for forensic medical examination. The UN has promised to support the investigation of the events in Olenivka.

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