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UN dissolves its mission investigating deaths of Ukrainian war prisoners in infamous Olenivka prison

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has disbanded a fact-finding mission investigating the deaths of Ukrainian war prisoners in the Olenivka prison, situated in the Russia-controlled part of the Donetsk region, Reuters reports.

Guterres explained that the mission cannot travel to the site. UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric clarified that the lack of the necessary access and security guarantees prompted the dissolution of the mission.

“We did have <…> the political agreement. But for such a complex and delicate mission and dangerous mission, let’s face it in what is an active war zone. We require clear safety and access guarantees from both sides and we didn’t feel we had received them,” he said at a briefing.

Dujarric added that the mission would be reinstated as soon as the security guarantees are offered.

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Thousands of Ukrainian civilians are being held captive in Russia for ‘opposing the special operation’, with courts denying them basic right to counsel

On 29 July, the so-called Donetsk people’s republic accused Kyiv of striking a prison in Olenivka where Ukrainian war prisoners were held. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the strike killed 50 Ukrainians, while 73 more were severely injured. The Ukrainian defence intelligence agency claimed that the notorious Wagner Group had been involved in the attack.

The Russian defence agency invited UN and ICRC experts to investigate the tragedy.

The UN chief later established a fact-finding mission for the Olenivka prison attack, noting that he had received requests from both Russia and Ukraine.

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