UN offers probe into bombing of DPR prison for Ukrainian POWs
US-made HIMARS missiles' shrapnel was discovered at the site.
The United Nations stands ready to conduct an investigation into the recent deadly shelling of a pre-trial detention center in Donetsk's town of Elenivka, which lodged Ukrainian combatants taken prisoner among others if all parties agree, according to UN spokesperson Farhan Haq on Saturday.
"In relation to the recent tragedy at the prison in Elenivka, we stand ready to send a group of experts able to conduct an investigation, requiring the consent of the parties, and we fully support the initiatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)," Haq said in a statement.
The detention center was bombed on Friday morning; an attack was carried out by Ukrainian troops as scraps of US-made HIMARS missiles were discovered at the site.
The attack claimed the lives of 53 and injured 130.
The ICRC offered its support in evacuating the people injured by the strike on Friday, stressing that all prisoners of war are protected by international humanitarian law, and should not be attacked as they are no longer combatants.
The Russian ministry of defense believes that Ukraine attacked as an act of intimidation to eliminate or prevent any testimonies from the militants of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion,which were taken prisoner by the DPR or allied troops.
Donetsk People's Republic Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov tweeted on his Telegram channel that the Ukrainian military shelled a prison housing POWs in Yelenovka early Friday morning.
“There was a direct hit at a building with prisoners,” Bezsonov wrote. “The results as of now: 40 killed, 130 wounded.”
The minister went on to say that he believes Kiev employed HIMARS multiple rocket launchers supplied by the US for the attack.
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According to reports, the facility housed Ukrainian fighters captured by Russia and its allied forces during the siege of the Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol.
The bombardment occurred as Russian and DPR troops attempted to push Ukrainian troops out of the Republic's western territories.
The DPR has repeatedly accused Ukraine of shelling Donetsk and other locations with HIMARS. Authorities stated on Sunday that the Ukrainian military had attacked an oil plant in Donetsk.
Earlier this month, three activists of the Molodaya Respublika organization were killed on July 10, and 11 were injured by the shelling of the Ukrainian armed forces against the Shakhtyorsky district in the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), according to DPR head Denis Pushilin.
"This morning, the Ukrainian militants fired at the Shakhtyorsky district, where activists of the Molodaya Respublika were on a volunteer mission. As a result, 11 people were injured, and three were killed. Search work is underway for four people," Pushilin wrote on Telegram earlier this month.