Ukraine has started the procedure of returning the bodies of the service members killed in Olenivka — the ombudsman
30 July, 2022

The Ukrainian side has started the procedure of returning the bodies of the dead service members who were detained in the Olenivska colony, said the Commissioner for Human Rights f the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Dmytro Lubinets.

Lubinets confirmed that on July 29, he appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Monitoring Mission, to obtain the right to visit the Olenivka prison and the wounded and captured defenders of Ukraine.

According to the ombudsman, while the Ukrainian side waits for the right to access the prison, the Ukrainian authorities are analyzing the video of the destruction of the prison: the positions of the burnt beds, the bodies of the dead, etc. It is assumed that there was an explosion from inside the building.

"First of all, this barrack was built separately, and for us, this is an indicator that this military operation has been prepared in advance. In addition, pro-Russian Telegram channels discussed back in June that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were "considering an attack on Olenivka," Lubinets said.

According to Lubinets, the conditions of detention of people in the Olenivka prison violate the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

"First, this facility is not designed for so many people — thousands of them were detained there. We have repeatedly raised issues with the ICRC so that they have access to the prison and record the violations of detention conditions, the number [of detainees], and lack of food, water, and medical supplies. And the most important thing is that it is located near the contact line," the ombudsman said.

Shelling of Olenivka Prison

On July 29, Russian propagandists claimed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine attacked a prison in the village of Olenivka in Donetsk Oblast, where Ukrainian POWs are detained, with HIMARS multiple rocket launchers. The leader of the self-proclaimed "DPR" Pushylin said that the shelling could have happened because the prisoners "began to testify."

Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office has launched an investigation into the Russian shelling of a prison in the occupied Olenivka in Donetsk Oblast, where Ukrainian POWs, including members of the Azov Regiment, were detained.

Ukrainian intelligence reported that the explosions in Olenivka were carried out by mercenaries of the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner Group, allegedly under the personal command of the nominal owner Yevgeny Prigozhin. According to intelligence, the organization and implementation of the explosion were not coordinated with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

The Media Initiative for Human Rights (MIPL) is trying to establish the circumstances of the explosion. Their sources assure that there was no shelling of the prison's territory on July 28, emphasizing it was an explosion. 

The founder and former commander of the Azov Regiment, Andrii Biletskyi, announced a hunt for anyone involved in the murder of Azov members who were held in prison in the occupied Olenivka.