Cyprus Mail

Russia says Ukraine struck prison in Donetsk region, killing 40

file photo: u.s. military forces fire a high mobility artillery rocket system (himars) rocket during the annual philippines us live fire amphibious landing exercise (phiblex) at crow valley in capas, tarlac province, north of manila
File photo: U.S. military forces fire a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) rocket

Russia’s defence ministry said on Friday that Ukraine struck a prison in the separatist-held territory with U.S.-made HIMARS rockets, killing 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war and leaving 75 wounded.

Reuters could not immediately verify battlefield reports. Ukraine did not immediately comment on the Russian statement.

“A missile strike from the U.S.-made multiple launch rocket system (HIMARS) was carried out on a pre-trial detention center in the area of the settlement of Olenivka, where Ukrainian military prisoners of war, including fighters from the Azov battalion, are being held,” the Russian defence ministry said in its daily briefing.

Russian-backed separatist leader Denis Pushilin was quoted by Interfax as saying that the prison, located in the frontline town of Olenivka, housed 193 people and that there were no foreigners among the detainees.

After Russia took control over Mariupol following a months-long siege of the Azovstal steel plant, many Ukrainian fighters including some from the Azov batallion were taken prisoner in Olenivka following their surrender.

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