On Sunday, Russia asked United Nations and Red Cross investigators to look into the deaths of several Ukrainian detainees held by Moscow-allied rebels, while the president of Ukraine ordered the evacuation of Donetsk’s people.
Thousands of people are still being subjected to intense warfare in the Donbas region, which includes the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
In a late-Saturday evening television address, Zelenskiy stated, ‘Many refuse to leave, but it still needs to be done.’ ‘The Russian army will have less time to kill people the more people leave the Donetsk region immediately.’
In the early hours of Friday, a missile strike or explosion in the front-line village of Olenivka in eastern Donetsk appears to have killed dozens of Ukrainian POWs, prompting retaliation from both Ukraine and Russia.
According to the defence ministry on Sunday, Russia invited specialists from the United Nations and Red Cross to look into the deaths ‘in the interests of conducting an independent investigation.’
The ministry had released a list of 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war who had died and 73 who had been injured in what it claimed was a Ukrainian military strike using a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HMARS) made in the United States (HIMARS).
The Ukrainian military denied involvement, claiming that Russian fire had targeted the prison to conceal abuse inside. Russia has committed a war crime, according to foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who called for an international denunciation on Friday.