The European Union condemned the "atrocities" of the Russian Armed Forces in the form of torture of prisoners of war and shelling of a colony in Yelenovka, Donetsk region, as a result of which 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed. This was stated by the head of the European Union's foreign policy office, Josep Borrell.
Borrell stressed that Russia killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Yelenovka, including defenders of Azovstal, who surrendered and were under legal protection under international law. He clarified that the network also has evidence of torture in the form of "terrifying videos" in which Russian soldiers commit "heinous atrocities against a Ukrainian prisoner of war."
“The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces and their proxies. These inhuman, barbaric acts constitute serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocol and amount to war crimes.”
Borrell added that those responsible for war crimes, as well as responsible government officials and the military, will be held accountable.
Before Borrell voiced the EU's position, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded a UN and Red Cross reaction to the deaths of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Yelenovka.
“It was a deliberate Russian war crime, the massacre of Ukrainian prisoners of war. More than 50 dead. When the defenders of Azovstal left the plant, the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross acted as guarantors of the life and health of our soldiers. Now the guarantors must react. We must protect the lives of hundreds of Ukrainian prisoners of war.”
He again called on the United States to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
After Zelensky's appeal, the International Committee of the Red Cross offered assistance in evacuating the wounded and donating medicines, as well as protective equipment and materials for forensic examination. The organization requested access to the victims to ascertain their state of health:
“Our priority now is to ensure that the injured receive life-saving care and that the bodies of those who have died are treated with dignity.”
The ICRC recalled that all prisoners of war, wherever they are held, are protected by international humanitarian law.
On July 29, the authorities of the “DPR” reported that Ukraine had hit a prison in Yelenovka in the Donetsk region, where Ukrainian prisoners were kept, as a result, 53 people were killed and another 130 were injured. The Armed Forces of Ukraine claim that the strike was carried out by the Russian military in order to accuse Ukraine of war crimes and to hide the torture and execution of Ukrainian prisoners. The Insider wrote that the propagandists reported on the preparation of a "provocation" as early as June. Volunteer from Mariupol Vitaly Sitnikov, who himself spent more than three months in prison in Yelenovka, said that no prisoners were kept in the industrial zone where the shells hit. The industrial zone was empty almost until the shelling, but a few days before that, hangars were set up there and the Azov fighters were placed in them, which, as it turned out, no one was going to exchange. He also reported about the constant torture in the colony and the fighter who committed suicide because of this.