The Red Cross continues to block access to the Russian camp where Ukrainians were killed

The International Committee of the Red Cross has not received confirmation that it will be allowed to visit the pre-trial detention center where dozens of Ukrainian detainees were killed in an explosion, the organization said in a statement on Sunday.

At least 50 prisoners were killed and dozens injured in an explosion late Thursday in the Russian-occupied town of Olenivka in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Many of them were prisoners of war who had surrendered in May after the Russian siege of the steel mills in Mariupol. In Ukraine, they are considered national heroes.

Ukraine and Russia accused each other of the explosion, with the Ukrainian authorities call for an international investigation.

On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said it would allow the ICRC and the United Nations to visit the site of the blast. There was no immediate comment from the UN, as it said it was ready to send experts to investigate if both sides agreed.

However, a few hours later, the ICRC stated that although it had requested access to the site, the wounded and the dead as soon as it learned of the attack, it still had not received any confirmation that access would be granted.

The statement notes that all parties to the conflict are under an obligation under international law to provide the ICRC with access to prisoners of war.

“We are ready to deploy to Olenevka,” the ICRC said, adding that medical, forensic and humanitarian teams were already nearby. “It is essential that the ICRC has immediate access to the Olenevka facility and other places where the wounded and the dead could be taken.”

The Olenevka site is a few miles from the front line in Donetsk, where fighting intensified after a brief pause in July when the Russians took control of almost all of neighboring Luhansk region.

Prisoners recently released from the Olenevsky camp told torture and hellish conditions. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink said Sunday that both the attack and reports of “barbaric treatment” of POWs were in bad faith.

“We will continue to seek accountability and give Ukraine what it needs to defend against Moscow’s horrific aggression,” she said. says on Twitter.