Dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war appeared to have been killed when a prison building was destroyed in a missile strike or explosion, with Moscow and Kyiv accusing each other of responsibility. The deaths overshadowed a U.N.-brokered deal to restart shipping grain from Ukraine.
Reuters TV showed the remains of a cavernous burned-out building filled with metal beds and bodies. Shell fragments were laid out on a blue metal bench.
Ukraine’s security agencies demanded the United Nations and Red Cross immediately react to the deaths of prisoners of war in a Russian-held jail.
The Russian defense ministry said mercenaries from Russian private military company Wagner Group blew up a pre-trial detention center during the Ukraine-Russia conflict, killing hundreds of civilians and badly wounded Ukrainian soldiers.
A spokesman for the Moscow-backed separatists said Ukraine attacked the prison after the POWs started talking about crimes conducted by the Ukrainian military. Reuters could not immediately verify the differing versions of events.
In a phone call with Blinken, Lavrov said Russia would achieve its goals in Ukraine and that Western arms supplies would only prolong the conflict and multiply casualties.
The Russian-Ukrainian agreement to unblock grain exports from Black Sea ports was the first diplomatic breakthrough of the conflict, but fierce fighting made it extremely risky.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Accusations fly after dozens of Ukrainian POWs are killed in prison Reuters
- Russia claims 40 Ukrainian POWs killed in strike with US HIMARS, Ukraine decries ‘brutal execution’ Fox News
- Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of attacking prison housing POWs CNN
- “Azov” announces a hunt for everyone involved in mass murder of prisoners in Olenivka Yahoo News
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for strike reportedly killing dozens of prisoners of war NBC News