The shelling of the prison in Olenivka, Donetsk Region, where Ukrainian prisoners of war were held among others, was carried out by mercenaries of the Russian private military company Wagner (League) at the personal command of its nominal owner Yevgeny Prigozhin. The organization and execution of the terrorist act were not coordinated with the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry has said.
"We emphasize that the explosions in Olenivka, which resulted in the deaths of Ukrainian defenders, are a deliberate provocation and an unconditional act of terrorism by the occupier's armed forces," the Ukrainian intelligence said.
It explained that on 28 July, a powerful explosion occurred on the territory of the former penal colony No 120 in the town of Olenivka in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk Region, which is now used to hold Ukrainian prisoners of war. The explosion destroyed the premises where the Ukrainian prisoners of war were held. According to Russian sources, around 40 Ukrainians were killed, the number of wounded is being specified.
The explosions took place on the territory of the industrial zone in a new facility, which was supposed to be specially equipped for the detention of prisoners taken out of Azovstal. The equipment of the building was completed two days ago, after which some of the detained Ukrainian defenders were transferred to it.
According to the Ukrainian intelligence, the main purpose of the terrorist act is to conceal the facts of total embezzlement of funds allocated for the maintenance of Ukrainian prisoners of war. It is known that a Moscow-based commission was to arrive at the "facility" on 1 August to check the spending of the allocated funds and the conditions of detention of prisoners.
Since the actual condition of the building and the detention conditions did not meet the requirements of the Russian leadership, the "problem" was solved by destroying the premises together with the Ukrainians kept there.
"Another purpose of the provocation was to increase social tension in Ukraine. Given the great public interest in the fate of the Azovstal Heroes, according to the authors of the scenario of the terrorist attack committed, the death of the Defenders should lead to an increase in social tension in Ukraine," the intelligence said.
Main Intelligence Directorate chief Kyrylo Budanov said: "In order to clarify the real circumstances of the terrorist attack and to prevent the repetition of similar events in the future, I call on all international institutions to express a tough stance on the events in Olenivka. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is one of the guarantors of security and proper maintenance of Ukrainian prisoners of war, should give a proper assessment of the events and make efforts to clarify the real circumstances and causes of the murder of Ukrainian defenders. Ukraine demands immediate access of Ukrainian representatives to the scene to examine the situation and monitor the conditions of detention of the captured Ukrainian defenders. I also stress the need to conduct detailed monitoring of the conditions of detention of Ukrainian prisoners and to guarantee the preservation of their life and health."