"On July 28, a powerful explosion took place in the territory of former penal colony No. 120 in the town of Olenivka in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk region which is currently used as a place of detention of Ukrainian prisoners of war. The explosion destroyed the premises where the captured Ukrainians were held. According to Russian sources, about 40 Ukrainians were killed, the number of the injured is being specified," the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reports.
As it became known, the explosions took place in the territory of the industrial zone in a newly built building, which was supposed to be specially equipped to hold prisoners taken out of Azovstal steelworks. The building had been finished two days ago, after which some of the detained Ukrainian defenders were transferred to it.
The Chief Directorate of Intelligence emphasizes: "The explosions in Olenivka, which killed Ukrainian defenders, are a deliberate provocation and an undeniable act of terrorism committed by the occupier’s armed forces."
"According to the available information, it was carried out by mercenaries of the Wagner (Liga) PMC on personal command of its nominal owner, Yevgeniy Prigozhin. The organization and implementation of the terrorist attack were not coordinated with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation," the intelligence agency said.
The Directorate believes that the main purpose of the terrorist attack was to hide the facts of total embezzlement of funds allocated for the maintenance of Ukrainian prisoners of war. "It is known that a commission from Moscow was supposed to arrive at the "object" on August 1 to check the expenditure of allocated funds and the conditions of detention of prisoners. Since the real condition of the building and the conditions of holding the prisoners in it did not meet the requirements of the Russian leadership, the "problem" was solved by destroying the premises, together with the Ukrainians held in it," the intelligence says.
Another purpose of the provocation was to ramp up tensions in Ukraine, the intelligence officers say. "Given the great public interest in the fate of the Azovstal heroes, the masterminds of the terrorist attack believed that the death of the defenders should ramp up social tensions in Ukraine," the Chief Directorate of Intelligence stressed.
Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the Chief Directorate of Intelligence, emphasized that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is one of the guarantors of the safety and adequate conditions of detention of Ukrainian prisoners of war, should do a proper assessment of the events and make efforts to find out the real circumstances and reasons for the murder of Ukrainian defenders.
"Ukraine demands the immediate access for representatives of Ukraine to the scene to study the situation and control the conditions of detention of captured Ukrainian defenders," Budanov said.
He also pointed out the need to conduct detailed monitoring of the conditions of detention of Ukrainian prisoners and guarantee the preservation of their lives and health.
As reported, the Ukrainian law enforcement officers opened criminal proceedings on Russia’s strike on Olenivka, Donetsk region, which killed 40 people and injured 130 more.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian military deliberately fired on the colony in Olenivka, where Ukrainian prisoners of war were held.
The General Staff called the Kremlin's statements about the alleged strike on civilian infrastructure and the population by the Armed Forces of Ukraine "outright lies and provocation."