Bombs, then Lies: Update on Olenvika Attack

In a move that compounds the destruction they have already caused, Moscow is now lying about what happened behind the bombing that killed 53 Ukrainian POWs in Olenivka last week.

Following the deaths of Ukrainian POWs in Russia’s unprovoked attack on a prison full of Ukrainian POWs in Olenivka, families of the defenders of Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol attend a rally in Kyiv on July 30 demanding that Russia be classified as a terrorist state.

According to the Kremlin, Ukrainians themselves bombed their nationally respected POWs from Azovstal Steelworks, who were being held in the detention camp in the Donetsek region. Ukraine maintains that Russia bombed the camp to cover up their torture and execution of the POWs. 

“It was a deliberate Russian war crime, a deliberate mass murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war,” President Zelenskiy said in a video address on July 30. “There should be a clear legal recognition of Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.”

Since finding out about the fate of POWs, fear and anger has once again been stoked in Ukraine as relatives and strangers alike have taken to protesting Putin’s regime (pictured above). 

““We are living now exclusively on faith, hope, on plans for the future and memories of the past,” said Anastasia, whose husband was among the defenders of the Azovstal steel mill in the southern city of Mariupol who surrendered on May 16 after more than two months of concentrated assault by Russian forces. “Our whole existence revolves around the fact that our loved ones are now in the most horrific conditions,” said Anastasia, who asked to be identified only by her first name to protect her POW relatives. “We thought nothing could be worse than Azovstal, but after what happened [on July 29] it turns out there can be something worse.”

While this is not surprising given their history of blaming Ukraine for its own decimation, the act of lying about a country murdering its own POWs is a new low in an already unjustified attack. 

Following the bombing, the United Nations has been asked to send investigators to Olenivka investigate the strike as a crime against humanity. To date, that makes over 10,000 potential hate crimes Ukraine has accused Russia of since their invasion. Russia continues to deny their existence.

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