Russia claims 40 Ukrainian prisoners were killed in a blast during the Ukraine conflict.

 Russia claims 40 Ukrainian prisoners were killed in a blast during the Ukraine conflict.

Russia claims 40 Ukrainian prisoners were killed in a blast during the Ukraine conflict.

According to Russia's defense ministry, Ukrainian shelling of a prison in separatist-held Donetsk killed 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war.


Officials claimed that 75 people were injured in a rocket attack on the Olenivka prison camp. This claim cannot be independently verified by the BBC.


Ukraine's military denied carrying out the strike, accusing Russia instead of shelling the prison.


It claimed that Moscow was attempting to conceal evidence 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 enemy continues to use information warfare propaganda to accuse the Armed Forces of Ukraine of shelling civilian infrastructure and the population while concealing his own heinous actions."


Footage shown on Russian state television shows the smoking wreckage of a building that appears to contain human remains. Although the BBC cannot independently verify the footage, analysis indicates that the building was hit with an incendiary device rather than regular artillery.


According to Daniil Bezsonov, a spokesperson for the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic, the strike was a "direct hit on a barracks holding prisoners," and the number of people killed could rise.


The strike was carried out with 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 spokesperson, also stated that eight prison employees had been injured.


However, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, described the Russian allegations as a "classic, cynical, and elaborate false flag operation" to discredit Ukrainian authorities.


"This is a deliberate, cynical, calculated mass murder of Ukrainian prisoners that must be thoroughly investigated. We demand a response from the United Nations and other international organizations "He continued.


It has been established that a number of Ukrainian troops who surrendered to Russian forces following a lengthy siege at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol were transported to Olenivka.


The troops had resisted a relentless Russian assault on the sprawling site for weeks before surrendering in May after taking refuge in the plant's maze of tunnels from artillery and air strikes.

According to Ukrainian officials, prisoners of war at Olenivka were tortured.

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