The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that the Ukrainian military attacked a pre-trial detention centre near Olenivka in the Donbas region with HIMARS rocket systems and killed 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war.
“40 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed and 75 wounded. In addition, eight employees of the pre-trial detention centre received injuries of different severity,” Sputnik reported citing the ministry.
The ministry called the Ukrainian attack a “flagrant provocation” aimed at intimidating Ukrainian soldiers who think about surrendering.
Ukraine shelled an important bridge in Kherson recently, closing it to traffic, and Zelenskyy promised to rebuild Antonivskyi bridge in the Russian-occupied Kherson region after it was struck by Ukrainian forces with what a Moscow-appointed local administrator said were US-supplied high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).
The Antonivskyi bridge is the city of Kherson’s sole span across the river and Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-appointed city administration, told Russia’s RIA news agency it had been closed to traffic after the attack.
The Ukrainian army, emboldened by deliveries of Western-supplied long-range artillery has been clawing back territory in the southern Kherson region in recent weeks just a day after Ukraine and Russia agreed on a grain deal.
At least two missiles hit the infrastructure of the port and two were shot down by Ukraine’s air defence.
This attack came one day after Ukraine and Russian ministers signed an agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul, to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports aimed at easing the global food crisis sparked by the war.
On February 24, Russia began a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics requested help in defending themselves. The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.