what we know about the shelling of the Olenivka prison, in the Donetsk region

Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the bombing. On Friday July 29, a prison was targeted by gunfire in Olenivka, in the separatist region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, leading to a series of accusations between the Russian and Ukrainian camps. The missile fire, whose origin has not yet been determined, killed at least forty people in this prison, where Ukrainian soldiers have been imprisoned since May. Franceinfo summarizes what we know about this bombing.

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The destroyed prison building in Olenivka

The attack happened overnight from Thursday to Friday. The explosions destroyed the construction of a prison in Olenivka, a town located in the separatist region of Donetsk, a few kilometers from the front line, in eastern Ukraine.

According to Moscow, the shots came from the Himars artillery system, Supplied to Ukraine by the United States, it hit the penitentiary establishment, where Ukrainian soldiers were imprisoned.

Images broadcast on Russian public television on Friday showed burned barracks and destroyed metal bed frames. According to the American channel CNN (in English)footage released in Russia and shared on social media from the Donetsk region movies “a building almost completely destroyed and many corpses”.

Several dozen Ukrainian prisoners of war died

The Russian army did not specify how many Ukrainians were taken prisoner detained during the attack. According to Russia, fighters from the Azov battalion occupied this prison, after surrendering to the Russian army, after long weeks of siege and resistance at the Azovstal steel site.

However, the precise assessment of the prison attack is still difficult to establish. The pro-Russian separatist leader in Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, told Russian TV channel Rossiya 24 that 47 had been killed, while the separatist territorial defense forces cited 53 deaths, adding that no guards were killed, killed or injured. . For his part, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, confirmed on Friday that this “attack on the occupants” done “more than 50 dead”. According to the Russian army, 75 people were also injured.

Russia slams Ukrainian “provocation”

The Kremlin blamed the strike on Ukraine. “This terrible provocation is intended to scare the Ukrainian soldiers and make them not surrender,” assured the Russian Ministry of Defense. According to him, the members of the Azov regiment, trapped since the fall of the Mariupol plant, was among the prisoners.

For his part, the leader of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, told Rossiïa 24 that the Ukrainian authorities “gives orders to eliminate those [parmi les prisonniers] who testifies” abuses committed, according to him, by the Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine calls out “a deliberate war crime in Russia”

The Ukrainian general staff in turn accused the Russian army of being behind it “artillery bombardment target”. According to kyiv, this attack allowed Moscow to“accusing Ukraine of committing war crimes” and on “cover up the torture of prisoners and the murders” that they are there “made”.

The armed forces of Ukraine claim not “never went on (…) bombing of civilian infrastructure, especially in places where prisoners of war are likely to be held”assured the army in a press release.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba then accused Russia “barbaric war crime”, on Twitter, calling for the country to recognize that “a terrorist state”. A desire shared by the Head of State, Volodymyr Zelensky. “Russia has proven through numerous terrorist attacks that it is the world’s largest terrorist source”the Ukrainian president also said on Friday, describing this bombing as “deliberate war crime in Russia“.

An attack condemned by the European Union

The European Union was quick to condemn “with the greatest severity of the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces and their auxiliaries“, in a press release (in English) of its head of diplomacy, Josep Borrell, targeting the prison bombing and torture accusations of a Ukrainian prisoner.

“These inhumane and barbaric acts constitute serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocol and amount to war crimes”added Jose Borrell.

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