CNN was unable to immediately verify the allegations. Short video clips that were broadcast on Russian and social media in Donetsk show extensive destruction of the building and several bodies, but could not be located independently.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that “the Kyiv regime deliberately committed a bloody provocation.”
“The pre-trial detention center in the area of the settlement of Yelenovka (Olenovka), which contains Ukrainian prisoners of war, including militants of the Azov formation, was subjected to rocket fire from the American HIMARS multiple launch rocket system.”
The department stated that “40 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed, 75 were injured. In addition, eight employees of the isolation ward received injuries of varying severity.”
The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed statements made earlier by authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine.
“There was a direct hit on the barracks of prisoners. The result at the moment: 40 killed, 130 wounded. The rubble is still being dismantled. The numbers may increase,” DPR Deputy Information Minister Daniil Beznosov said in an interview. Telegram channel.
The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that “this impudent provocation was carried out in order to intimidate the Ukrainian servicemen and prevent them from being taken prisoner.”
Later, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine accused the Russian forces of carrying out “aimed artillery shelling of a correctional institution in the village of Olenivka, Donetsk region, where Ukrainian prisoners were also kept.”
“The Russian invaders pursued their criminal goals – to accuse Ukraine of committing “war crimes”, as well as to hide the torture of prisoners and executions,” the General Staff said.
“The alleged shelling of civilian infrastructure and the population by the Armed Forces of Ukraine is an outright lie and a provocation for which Russia bears responsibility.”
The statement of the General Staff added: “According to the commander of the Rocket Forces and Artillery of the Command of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not inflict rocket and artillery strikes in the area of the settlement of Olenovka.”
“Missile troops and artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, thanks to high-precision weapons received from partner countries, inflict exceptionally accurate strikes only on Russian military facilities.”
The General Staff said that the armed forces “have never carried out and are not conducting shelling of civilian infrastructure, especially places where comrades may be kept as prisoners of war.”
“Russia has committed another egregious war crime by shelling a correctional facility in occupied Olenivka where Ukrainian prisoners of war were being held. I call on all partners to strongly condemn this gross violation of international humanitarian law and recognize Russia as a terrorist state,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro. Kuleba tweeted.