Jul 29, 2022
By Jane Brown
There has been a horrific development in Ukraine.
Dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war, captured after the fall of Mariupol in May, have been killed in a shelling of a POW prison in Russian occupied eastern Ukraine.
And both Ukraine and Russia are accusing each other of shelling this prison which has led to the deaths of 53 Ukrainian POWs while wounding 75 others.
A spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry describes the strike as a bloody provocation aimed at discouraging Ukrainian soldiers from surrendering.
But the Ukrainian Military denies any rocket or artillery strikes on Olenivka, insisting it was not shelling civilian areas and only strikes Russian military targets.
The Ukrainian military is also accusing Russian forces of deliberately shelling the prison in order to accuse Ukraine of war crimes and also to cover up torture and executions there.
The Ukrainian statement denounces the Russian claims as part of an information war to cover up their own treacherous action.
“The fighting in the region has been intensifying by the day, and civilians must evacuate while it’s still possible,” said Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko. “The Russian army doesn’t worry about civilian casualties. They are pummeling cities and villages in the region.”
(In this photo provided by THE Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office, a Ukrainian soldier stands inside the ruined Azovstal steel plant prior to surrender to Russian forces on May 16, 2022. DMYTRO KOZATSKY / AP)
The Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol were taken prisoner after the fierce fighting for Ukraine’s Azov Sea port, where they had been holed up at the giant Azovstal steel mill. Their resistance has become a symbol of Ukrainian struggle against Vladimir Putin’s illegal Russian invasion that began February 24th.