Ukrainian officers press for data on jail assault

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian officers say they’re struggling to ascertain the reality surrounding an explosion in a jail that killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of battle captured by the Russians following the autumn of Mariupol.

Ukraine’s human rights chief, Dmytro Lubinets, advised The Related Press he has tried to ascertain a direct hyperlink along with his Russian counterpart with a purpose to organize a joint go to to the jail in Olenivka, a city in japanese Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists.

“Dialogue is when there’s a dialog between two events. At this second, that is an official request from me, which stays unanswered,” Lubinets mentioned.

Separatist authorities and Russian officers say 53 Ukrainian POWs have been killed and an additional 75 have been wounded Friday within the blast that ripped by a constructing on the jail. Each side have blamed the opposite for the assault, saying it was premeditated with the intention of overlaying up atrocities.

Moscow opened a probe, sending a crew to the positioning from its Investigative Committee, the nation’s principal felony investigation company. The state-run RIA Novosti company claimed that fragments of U.S.-supplied precision Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket System rockets have been discovered on the website.

The Ukrainian navy, nevertheless, denied conducting any rocket or artillery strikes in Olenivka, and it accused the Russians of attacking the jail to cowl up the torture and execution of Ukrainians there.

“Primarily based on the evaluation of the photographs and movies that now we have entry to, we are able to say that it was an explosion from the within of this barrack,” Lubinets mentioned.

He mentioned photos from the scene present injury to just one constructing and never all of the home windows have been blown out — one thing he says wouldn’t be doable if the complicated was shelled.

Ukraine has appealed to the United Nations and to the Worldwide Committee of the Crimson Cross for assist in investigating the blast and to search out out extra in regards to the situation of the injured.

ICRC spokesman Oleksandr Vlasenko advised the AP that the group was at the moment negotiating with the Russians concerning visiting Olenivka. ICRC workers wish to see everybody held there, ensure that these wounded within the blast get correct medical remedy, and take a look at the our bodies of the useless.

Russian officers on Saturday issued a listing of the Ukrainian troopers they mentioned who had been killed or wounded within the assault, however the Ukrainians say they’ve been unable to confirm the checklist whereas there is no such thing as a entry for the ICRC.

Greater than 2,400 troopers from the Azov Regiment of the Ukrainian nationwide guard and different navy models defending town of Mariupol surrendered below orders from Ukraine’s navy in Could.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has known as upon the U.N. and the Crimson Cross, which acted as guarantors through the withdrawal of the Ukrainian navy from the enormous Azovstal metal mill in Mariupol, to protect the lives of Ukrainian prisoners of battle.

Olena Tolkachova, who’s answerable for assist providers for the Azov Regiment, mentioned she had acquired little details about the destiny of the captured troopers.

“In response to the phrases (of the withdrawal), the Worldwide Committee of the Crimson Cross needed to go to our POWs each week and verify the situations of our troopers. They have been supposed to offer contact with kin,” she mentioned.

She mentioned she believed the ICRC had solely visited the jail as soon as and she or he solely found this from the Russian media. The assist service is in contact with the ICRC looking for details about those that have been killed or wounded in Olenivka.

“They don’t give particular solutions. They can not clarify to us why they can’t get there,” Tolkachova mentioned, including that kin are determined to know what occurred to their family members and are calling each quantity they will discover for any shred of data.

Vlasenko of the Crimson Cross mentioned negotiations with the Russians are delicate.

“Any leak of data could be dangerous. We inform about our actions solely after they have taken place,” he added.

Russia’s Supreme Court docket on Tuesday declared Ukraine’s Azov Regiment a terrorist group, a designation that might result in terror costs in opposition to among the captured fighters. Tolkachova mentioned as much as 1,000 troopers from the Azov Regiment alone are at the moment in Russian captivity and the assault at Olenivka has raised considerations that nobody can assure their security.

“They have been merely blown up. And this public execution, which was proven everywhere in the world, isn’t that sufficient for the world to know that they’re in mortal hazard?” Tolkachova mentioned.

Lubinets hoped that no less than the method of returning the our bodies of these killed in Olenivka will start quickly.

“I can solely hope that the rules of humanitarian legislation stay among the many Russian Federation’s leaders,” Lubinets mentioned.


Susie Blann contributed to this report.


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