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UN report on Olenivka terrorist attack: Use of HIMARS missile fired by Ukraine ruled out

Wednesday, 4 October 2023, 20:08
UN report on Olenivka terrorist attack: Use of HIMARS missile fired by Ukraine ruled out

A recent UN report concerning the Russian terrorist attack in the penal colony near the settlement of Olenivka in the occupied part of Ukraine's Donetsk Oblast shows that even a single HIMARS missile would have caused more serious damage. Moreover, a projectile that struck the building was moving from east to west.

Source: Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine's Commissioner for Human Rights, with reference for the recent UN report

Details: The Directorate of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has gathered information about the explosions on the night of 28-29 July 2022 at the Volnovakha Penal Colony No. 120 near the settlement of Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast.


Despite the fact that at 11:00 on 29 July, the Russian propagandists were already filming videos with alleged pieces of HIMARS projectiles, the UNHCHR states in the report that the scale of damage does not correspond to a likely aftermath of such a strike.

Quote: "The degree of damage to the walls, ceiling, roof and windows of the barracks, the condition of the bunk beds inside, the size of the residual crater, and the impact radius are not characteristic of impacts by HIMARS ammunition.

Even a single HIMARS rocket would likely have caused damage and destruction of the barracks and surrounding area of a significantly larger and more severe scale. In addition, witnesses described to OHCHR hearing multiple explosions."

Details: Among the new details there is also a fact that video and photo materials of the damaged barracks showed the impact point inside of a western wall and two possible entrance points through the roof.

Even though it was not possible to determine the exact armament type and its place of origin, the structural damage is in line with a supposed projectile which was moving along the trajectory from east to west.

The HCHR also adds that the state that holds prisoners of war is responsible for their security, and in case of their death or injury, it must conduct an urgent official investigation, which provides for an individual criminal responsibility for the death or injuries of the prisoners of war.

Yet the HCHR did not receive any information that the Russian Federation has fulfilled its obligations to conduct an investigation and severely punish the guilty.


  • On 29 July 2022, Russian-aligned propaganda media announced the shelling of a penal colony in Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, where Ukrainian prisoners of war were being held. They reported that the number of those killed stood at a minimum of 53.
  • Ukrainian Intelligence believes that the killing of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Olenivka was organised by the Wagner Group [a Russian private military company] on the personal instructions from Yevgeny Prigozhin, without coordination with the leadership of the Russian Defence Ministry.
  • In October, the International Committee of the Red Cross stated that it cannot "force its way" to the Ukrainian prisoners of war, who are illegally held by the Russian Federation, but "shares the disappointment" of Ukraine.
  • On 29 January 2023, the Office of the President of Ukraine complained that within six months, the International Red Cross Committee did not send its delegation to Olenivka even once.

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