According to Russia’s defense ministry, Ukrainian bombardment of a jail in separatist-held Donetsk killed 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war.
Officials said that 75 people were wounded in a rocket attack on the Olenivka prison camp. The BBC cannot independently verify this allegation.
Ukraine’s military denied carrying out the attack, accusing Russia instead of bombarding the jail.
It claimed that Moscow was attempting to conceal proof of torture at the site.
“The Russian occupants pursued their criminal goals, accusing Ukraine of committing ‘war crimes,’ and concealing the torture of prisoners and shootings committed there by orders of the occupation administration and the command of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” Ukraine’s General Staff stated.
“The Russian aggressor continues to utilize information warfare propaganda to accuse the Armed Forces of Ukraine of attacking civilian infrastructure and the populace while concealing his own heinous deeds.”
Footage seen on Russian official television shows the burning ruins of a structure that looks to contain human remains. Although the BBC cannot independently authenticate the film, research indicates that the structure was struck with an incendiary weapon rather than ordinary artillery.
According to Daniil Bezsonov, a spokeswoman for the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk Those’s Republic, the attack was a “direct hit on a barracks housing detainees,” and the number of people dead might rise.
The attack was carried out by US-made Himars artillery, according to Russia’s defense ministry, and Ukraine was accused of a “deliberately perpetrated” provocation.
Lt Gen Igor Konashenkov, the ministry’s spokeswoman, also said that eight prison employees had been injured.
However, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, described the Russian charges as a “classic, cynical, and extensive false flag operation” to undermine Ukrainian officials.
“This is a planned, cynical, intentional mass murder of Ukrainian inmates that must be thoroughly investigated. We want a response from the United Nations and other international bodies “He continued.
It has been determined that a number of Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered to Russian forces during a lengthy siege at the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol were transported to Olenivka.
The soldiers had resisted a persistent Russian assault on the huge facility for weeks before surrendering in May after taking refuge in the plant’s network of tunnels from artillery and air attacks.