Ukraine returns bodies of another 62 of its fallen defenders, including soldiers who were killed in Olenivka
Ukraine returns the bodies of dead Ukrainian soldiers as part of the exchange (Photo:minre.gov.ua)
As part of an exchange operation, Ukraine received the bodies of 62 dead Ukrainian sol-diers, including those killed during the Russian attack in Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine’s Reintegration Ministry said in a Facebook post on Oct. 11.
Oleh Kotenko, Commissioner on Persons Gone Missing under Special Circumstances, said the exchange was extremely challenging to negotiate.
“We returned those who went through hell itself to defend Ukraine,” he wrote.
“May the heroes be remembered!”
On Aug. 6, Kotenko, said that of the more than 7,000 Ukrainian soldiers were considered missing, with up to 25% of them being held captive by Russian forces.
Russia committed a massacre of prisoners from the Azov regiment in the Olenivka (Donetsk Oblast) prison colony on July 29. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that by doing so, Russia wanted to accuse Ukraine of committing war crimes, as well as to hide the torture and executions of prisoners, which were carried out on the orders of the occupation administration in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk Oblast.
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine claimed that the explosions in Olenivka were carried out by mercenaries of the private military company (PMC) Wagner Group, on personal orders form Yevgeny Prigozhin – its nominal owner.
According to Ukrainian Intelligence, the explosions took place on the territory of the industrial zone in a newly built room, which was supposed to be specially equipped for prisoners of war from Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks. Some of the defenders of Ukraine were transferred to the facility just two days before the explosion.
The SBU security service published an intercept of a conversation which confirmed that the Russians knowingly committed the POW massacre at the OIenivka prison colony.
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