Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of strike that killed 53 Ukrainian POWs
Driving the news: Russia accused Ukraine's military of launching an attack on a prison in Olenivka, a settlement in the Donetsk province controlled by separatists, where Ukrainian prisoners of war were being held.
- Separatist authorities and Russian officials said the attack killed 53 Ukrainian POWs and wounded at least 75, per AP.
- Ukrainian officials have said Russia is responsible for the attack. Russian officials accused Ukraine of conducting the strikes using U.S.-supplied rockets, which Ukrainian officials deny.
- "In this way, the Russian occupiers pursued their criminal goals - to accuse Ukraine of committing 'war crimes', as well as to hide the torture of prisoners and executions," the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said, Reuters reports.
- A Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson described the strike as a "bloody provocation" to discourage Ukrainian soldiers from surrendering, AP notes.
The big picture: Ukraine officials have publicly feared that Russia seeks "to destroy the whole Donbas step by step," and officials have battled for control of the remaining territory.