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UN to investigate prison blast

After the death of more than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war in an explosion in a penal camp in the Donetsk region, Moscow and Kyiv have leveled allegations.

The UN wants experts to investigate the case.

After the momentous explosion in a penal camp in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations announced that it would look into the incident. According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, a team of experts will be appointed at the request of Moscow and Kyiv to investigate what is happening in the prison camp.

Guterres said he does not have the authority to conduct criminal investigations, but he can initiate a finding of fact. The conditions for such a mandate are currently being worked out and then sent to the governments in Kyiv and Moscow for examination.

USA: Russia want to fabricate evidence

The explosion in the camp in a region in Donetsk controlled by Russia and pro-Kremlin separatists last week killed 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war and injured many more, according to Russian sources. Among the camp inmates were Ukrainian soldiers and militants captured after the fall of the port city of Mariupol. Moscow and Kyiv accused each other of deliberately destroying parts of the penal camp to cover up atrocities.

According to US findings, Russia wants to fabricate evidence so that Ukrainian troops can be held responsible. It is even possible that Russian officials in the prison in Olenivka deliberately set out ammunition from the HIMARS multiple rocket launcher, a US intelligence official told the AP news agency. In doing so, Moscow wanted to make it appear as if the weapons systems supplied by the United States to Ukraine had been used in the attack on the prison camp.

The US intelligence official told the AP that Russia will probably use the alleged deception tactic in anticipation of independent experts and journalists who should be allowed access to Olenivka.

Ukraine: Prison mined and set on fire

Russia had announced that the Ukrainian military had attacked the complex with rocket launchers provided by the United States. This was rejected by the Ukrainian armed forces. There were no rocket or artillery attacks on Olenivka.

Rather, the intelligence department of the Ukrainian military said it had evidence that local pro-Kremlin separatists, in cooperation with the Russian secret service FSB and the Wagner mercenary group, first mined the barracks and then used a “flammable liquid, which led to the rapid spread of fire in the building led space”.

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