Crimes in Olenivka: journalists name those who tortured Ukrainian prisoners of war. Investigation
In total, up to 90% of the prisoners were tortured. Kyiv Independent journalists identified the Russians and collaborators who abused captured military personnel and abducted civilians in an illegal prison in the temporarily occupied village of Olenivka in Donetsk region. Over the course of six months, the investigation has uncovered many important facts, helped by the stories of former prisoners.
This is described in the documentary film "Curators of Evil. Naming those responsible for the crimes in Olenivka" (English title "Inside a prison where Russia tortured Ukrainian POWs"). The territory of the local prison had long been used by DPR militants, but a few months after the start of the full-scale invasion, local "workers" of the colony were replaced almost entirely with Russian citizens.
Journalists found photos of several alleged perpetrators of torture against prisoners of war on social media. Then the investigators talked to the prisoners of Olenivka who had already been exchanged. The military recognized that among the wardens:
- Kirill Shakurov from Horlivka, who used to work in the Ukrainian penitentiary system;
- the head of the prison, Serhii Yevsiukov (a former Ukrainian law enforcement officer)
- assistant head of the prison Artem Potapchuk;
- Viacheslav Yakurnov, head of the prison's operational department;
- First Deputy Head of the prison Dmytro Nieelov;
- wardens Vasyl Bakalynskyi (another former Ukrainian citizen) and Yurii Dmytrenko from Horlivka (Shakurov's partner).
The investigation also shows that the work of the prisoner of war camp in Olenivka was probably led by Kirill Popov, the first deputy head of the Moscow branch of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service.
The Ukrainian prisoners told what kind of torture they suffered in Russian captivity. In particular, they described being held in damp cells with moldy walls, where up to fifty people were placed in one room; starvation; technical water for drinking; and failure to provide medical care to the sick or wounded.
In addition, some prisoners of war were wrapped in duct tape at night and beaten, demanding that they testify against the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In total, up to 90% of the prisoners were tortured.
As a reminder, the Russian occupiers committed a terrorist attack in the colony in Olenivka, Donetsk region, on July 29, 2022. They staged an explosion in one of the barracks where Ukrainian soldiers were held. In particular, the occupiers were holding the defenders of Mariupol, including members of the Azov regiment.
According to preliminary information, at least 50 Azovstal defenders, who were guaranteed security by the Kremlin and international organizations, were killed in the explosion.
The Office of the Prosecutor General reported that the deaths of about 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war in the colony of occupied Olenivka, Donetsk region, were probably caused by the explosion of a thermobaric munition. Namely, capsules with a combustible mixture for flamethrowers such as "Dzhmil", "Dzhmil-M", and "Lynx".
President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said that the perpetrators of the terrorist attack in Olenivka would be found and brought to justice, and mass murder would be one of the charges at the international tribunal against the terrorist state.
As OBOZ previously reported, Ukraine managed to return the bodies of prisoners of war who died as a result of a terrorist attack organized by Russia in a colony in the occupied village of Olenivka. Most of the bodies have been identified.