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The US says Russia will fake a scene of mass killings of prisoners of war to blame Ukraine

#Russia #fake #scene #mass #killings #prisoners #war #blame #Ukraine

The White House on Thursday accused Moscow of preparing to plant fake evidence to make it appear that the recent mass killing of Ukrainian prisoners in an attack on a Russian-controlled prison was caused by the Ukrainian military.

Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame for prison strikes in Kremlin-controlled Olenivka in eastern Ukraine, which Russian sources say took place overnight on July 29.

“We understand Russian officials are planning to fabricate evidence to attribute the attack on Olenivka prison to July 29,” White House spokesman John Kirby said.

“We anticipate that Russian officials will attempt to frame Ukrainian forces in anticipation of journalists and potential investigators visiting the site of the attack,” Kirby told reporters.

Kirby cited unpublished US intelligence reports in his claim.

But he said the United States expects Moscow will try to pin the blame on a US-supplied precision-guided Himars missile, using “planted evidence” of fragments of such missiles said to have been found at the site.

Claims on this scale are already appearing in the media, Kirby said.

More than 50 soldiers died in the incident, including troops who surrendered after weeks of defending the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol.

Russia has claimed Ukraine carried out an attack on its own captured militants, while Ukrainian authorities accuse Russia of covering up a deliberate massacre.

Russian TV images showed a charred room crammed with burned bed frames, but independent experts are not yet sure what could have caused the visible damage.

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj spoke of a “premeditated mass murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war”.

The United Nations has announced a fact-finding mission, but it has yet to receive final approval from Kyiv or Moscow.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it requested access to the site immediately after it became aware of the alleged July 29 attack.

But on Wednesday the ICRC said it had not yet been given access to understand the fate of Ukrainian POWs.

“To date, we have not been granted access to the PoWs affected by the attack, nor do we have security guarantees to conduct this visit,” the organization said.

“We will continue to request access to prisoners of war who are being or have been held in Olenivka and to all other locations where prisoners of war are being held, guided by our humanitarian commitment and our mandate under the Geneva Conventions.”

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