OHCHR faults russia for death of 51 Ukrainian POWs in Olenivka colony in 2022

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The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated in its latest report that the “deadly attack” on the colony in Olenivka was not caused by the launch of the HIMARS missile by the Ukrainian armed forces.

“The report called for further investigation into the deadly attack on the penal colony of Olenivka in late July of 2022, which killed 51 Ukrainian prisoners of war and injured at least 139. But it ruled out that HIMARS rockets were used in the attack, noting that the available evidence is consistent with a projected ordnance having followed an east-to-west trajectory.

The report faulted russia for keeping prisoners of war in the proximity of the front line in violation of international humanitarian law and for not giving the UN access to the site,” the OHCHR said.

The UN report said human rights monitors continued to document widespread torture and ill-treatment against civilians and POWs by russian authorities, including severe beatings, electrocution, mock executions, sexual violence and degrading treatment. Appalling conditions of detention continued, including: lack of food and medical services; overcrowding; poor living conditions and sanitation; sleep deprivation; and no access to the outside world. russia to date has refused to allow any access to the UN’s human rights monitors. 

In contrast, the report notes that Ukraine continues to grant human rights monitors unfettered access to interned POWs and that conditions in Ukraine’s POW camp near the western city of Lviv have improved.

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