UARU
General Staff and President's Office comment on shelling of prisoner colony in occupied Olenivka
29 July, 2022

The shelling of the colony in the occupied Olenivka in Donetsk Oblast, for which the Russians are trying to blame the Armed Forces of Ukraine, was carried out by the Russian military. In this correctional facility, the Russian invaders are holding Ukrainian prisoners of war, in particular the fighters of Azov Regiment, announced the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"The Russian occupiers thus had a criminal intent — to accuse Ukraine of committing 'war crimes', as well as to cover up the torture of prisoners and executions, which were carried out there on the orders of the occupation administration and the command of the Russian Armed Forces in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk Oblast. The consequences of the shelling are being clarified," the message reads.

According to the commander of the Missile Forces and Artillery of the Land Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ukrainian army did not launch missile and artillery strikes on the area of Olenivka.

The General Staff called the statements about the alleged shelling of civilian infrastructure and the population on the part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine "blatant lies and provocation for which Russia is responsible".

The adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, emphasized that there are no operational military objectives for the Ukrainian army in Olenivka, and the scale and speed of the information campaign of Russian propagandists indicate that this was precisely the planned action of Moscow.

"We know that some of the captured defenders were transferred to the barrack that was hit a few days before the crime. A classic, cynical, well-thought-out false flag operation," said Podolyak.

He believes that the purpose of this shelling is to hide evidence of the scale of Russian war crimes and torture, which are increasing, to disrupt agreements on exchanges and to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"Russian hysterical preemptive statements that a blow was struck against captured Ukrainian defenders are meant to spark a backlash in Ukraine and turn the population of various countries against our Armed Forces. The motive is clear. Ukrainian intelligence and special services will establish the true identities of the dead," said Podolyak.

The President's Office also expects an immediate firm response from the UN and other international organizations, namely the exclusion of Russia from any international institutions.

The attack on the colony in Olenivka, where prisoners of Azov are kept, was also confirmed by the Patronage Service of the regiment. They are currently establishing the names of the dead and injured. The International Committee of the Red Cross went to the site of the attack. The service will promptly inform the prisoners' relatives about the situation.

Background

Russian propagandists claimed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck a colony in the village of Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, where Ukrainian prisoners are held, with HIMARS rocket launchers. The self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" reported 53 dead Ukrainians and 75 wounded.