15:09 30 Jul 2022

Ukraine initiates procedure to bring back bodies of servicemen killed in Olenivka – ombudsman

Ukraine has initiated a procedure to bring back bodies of the Ukrainian servicemen killed in Russia's terrorist attack in Olenivka, Donetsk Region.

The relevant statement was made by Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets on Ukrainian TV channels, an Ukrinform reports.

"I have also requested that I be given an opportunity to visit our injured heroes. We initiated a procedure to bring back bodies of our servicemen, who were kept there," Lubinets told.

Talking of that correctional facility in Olenivka, Lubinets noted there were violations of all the Geneva Conventions.

"In particular, this facility cannot be designed for such numbers – thousands of people were kept there. We have repeatedly brought this issue up to international experts, primarily the ICRC, to ensure that they have access to this facility and document the violations of confinement conditions, the number of people, etc.," Lubinets explained.

According to Lubinets, international experts should go there and take all the materials required for examination.

"This will not be done by Ukrainian experts; and, in our opinion, this should not be done by Russian experts. This should be done by international experts from different institutions around the world to ensure that investigation into this crime is as impartial as possible," Lubinets stressed.

In his words, the testimonies of the injured Ukrainians will serve as additional evidence of what truly happened there: how the transfer procedure took place; what the military were told – why they were being transferred, and why exactly to that barrack.

"Moreover, as far as we know, there were no other positive changes in the confinement conditions – there was nothing like that. So, there are many questions at the moment but, believe me, we are doing everything we can and everything we have to do," Lubinets added.

A reminder that, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian troops deliberately struck a correctional facility in Donetsk Region's Olenivka, where Ukrainian prisoners of war were kept.

In Donetsk Region's Olenivka, near Mariupol, two filtration prisons were established by Russian invaders. Here, they keep former law enforcement officers, pro-Ukrainian activists, the 'unfaithful' until they are sentenced or undergo filtration procedures, and volunteers who evacuated Mariupol residents. It was also reported that the Ukrainian servicemen taken captive in Mariupol had been brought there.

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