Jul 29, 2022 - World

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of strike that killed 53 Ukrainian POWs

 Local residents search for their belongings amid rubbles of a building damaged in an attack by Russian forces on the city of Toretsk in the Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on July 28, 2022.
Local residents search for their belongings amid rubbles of a building damaged in an attack by Russian forces on the city of Toretsk in the Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on July 28. Photo: Abdullah Unver/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russia and Ukraine accused each other on Friday of conducting a missile strike that reportedly killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war, AP reports.

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.

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