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Over 700 Azov soldiers remain in Russian captivity - former POW and Olenivka terrorist attack survivor

27 July, 2023 Thursday
17:32

A fighter of the Azov Brigade with the call sign Kraft said that more than 700 fighters of the Azov unit are still in captivity today

He spoke about this on Espreso TV.

Almost a year ago, the Russians shelled the prison in Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, where Ukrainian prisoners of war were held, with artillery. Kraft recalls that he had been in the colony for two months before the attack 

"I was a little resigned, so I was ready for any insidious plans. After all, no one could have expected this. Everyone had their own guesses as to why we were being moved to a separate shop. However, we could not foresee this kind of terrorist attack," said the Azov Brigade fighter.

Kraft noted that the issues of prisoners and execution in Olenivka have to be raised because it should gain publicity so that no one forgets the events that took place.

"Now more than 700 fighters from our Azov unit are in captivity, and even more from neighboring units who helped us defend Mariupol. We need to constantly remind people of this, because people sometimes forget," the fighter said.

What is known about the Russian terrorist attack in Olenivka

On July 29, 2022, Russia shelled the prison in Olenivka, Donetsk region, where Ukrainian prisoners were held, with artillery. The shelling killed about 40 people and injured 130 others. 

Later, the Russian Ministry of Defense invited experts from the UN and the Red Cross to the scene of the attack in Olenivka. However, it did not allow the representatives of the Human Rights Watch access to the site of the tragedy. 

The head of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valeriy Zaluzhny, said that the atrocities committed by Russians against our prisoners of war are infuriating, and Ukraine will take revenge for every dead or injured person. The Security Service of Ukraine, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and intelligence demanded that the UN and the Red Cross come to the scene of the attack.

On July 30, 2022, Ukraine began the procedure for returning the bodies of those killed in the Olenivka terrorist attack. They managed to return 54 bodies.

In response to the Russian terrorist attack, the Verkhovna Rada called on the world to recognize Russia as a terrorist state and to strengthen sanctions in connection with the killing of Ukrainian prisoners of war.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was going to set up a mission to investigate the circumstances of the killing of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Olenivka. It was established on August 23, 2022. 

On January 5, Guterres disbanded the mission to establish the circumstances of the deaths of Ukrainian prisoners of war. Later, the UN said that a mission to the colony in Olenivka was still possible.

On June 26, Lubinets said that there were still Ukrainian prisoners of war in the colony in Olenivka. 

July 7 Dmytro Lubinets informs that Ukraine has managed to identify most of the bodies of prisoners of war who died as a result of a Russian terrorist attack in the village of Olenivka in Donetsk region.

July 25 The UN denies Russia's claims that the attack on the colony in Olenivka was carried out with a HIMARS missile.

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