Ukrainian prisoners of war in the prison camp in occupied Olenivka were likely killed with thermobaric weapons, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine said. At least 50 people were killed and 73 were wounded in the strike at the facility.
"I'm getting reports every three hours about what's happening in this criminal case. We've brought in our international experts now. There are a lot of international experts working with the Prosecutor’s General Office," Andrii Kostin said, according to Pravda.
"I would like to inform you that the preliminary conclusions of our international experts indicate that a thermobaric weapon was the method of killing. These are preliminary conclusions of several international experts. That is, it was definitely not rocket fire – they are convinced of that," he said, adding: "This is also confirmed by the information that is currently being processed by pretrial investigation authorities under the procedural guidance of prosecutors of the Prosecutor General's Office."
Kostin also said that Russia has been using thermobaric weapons in its fight in Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24.
"As for specific individuals [guilty of killing prisoners of war - ed.], urgent investigative actions are ongoing, but this issue is more complicated. In my opinion, it is the priority right now to expose Russian propaganda and disinformation about the possible detonation of this building with HIMARS-type missile systems, which is what they are trying to claim," the prosecutor general said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had earlier said the bombing was a "deliberate Russian war crime." Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of carrying out the attack. Russia said that Ukraine used American-made weapons, including HIMARS, to hit the prison.
Meanwhile, the commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, Major Serhii "Volyna" Volynskyi, was also recently seen speaking in a video where he hinted that the Russian occupiers killed Ukraine's prisoners of war in order to influence the psyche and morale of those in captivity. It remains unclear from where Volynskyi was speaking, according to Odessa Journal.
"A very terrible tragedy happened. From our barracks we could see a yellow light, an explosion. We heard screams. The situation is terrible, it is very difficult to find words to describe it," Volynskyi – who is also a prisoner of the Russian Federation, commented. According to Pravda, Volynskyi was being asked manipulative questions by the occupiers in the video, which was shared by propagandist Andrey Rudenko.
"I think this situation will affect the psyche of the people who are in captivity, and the people who may be captured. There will be fear among those who were part of the events, and among their relatives and friends. Now our family and friends are very worried about what has happened. It is still not known for sure who died," he said.
"Everyone is in shock. No one can find an explanation, everyone is in mourning. There is silence in the barracks. A big disaster has happened. People have been through hell. To put it bluntly, everyone is waiting at home for the long-awaited freedom, and such a tragedy occurs right at the finish line."
International Business Times cannot independently verify the claims made regarding the Olenivka prison strike.