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29 Jul, 2022 07:05 

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Ukraine shells prison holding POWs – DPR

Dozens died after Kiev’s forces struck a jail in Donbass, a local official claims

A pre-trial detention center damaged by shelling near the settlement of Yelenovka, Donetsk People’s Republic, July 29, 2022.  © Sputnik / RIA Novosti

Ukrainian troops shelled a prison housing prisoners of war in the suburban settlement of Yelenovka early Friday morning, according to the Donetsk People’s Republic’s deputy information minister, Daniil Bezsonov.

“There was a direct hit at a building with prisoners,”Bezsonov wrote on Telegram. “The results as of now: 40 killed, 130 wounded.”

The minister added that he believes Kiev used US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers for the attack.

The facility reportedly housed Ukrainian fighters captured by Russian and allied forces during the siege of the Azovstal steel mill in the city of Mariupol.

The reported shelling took place as Russian and DPR troops attempt to push Ukrainian soldiers out of the republic’s western areas.

READ MORE: Ukraine bombards Donetsk with landmines – mayor

The DPR has repeatedly accused Ukraine of using HIMARS to shell Donetsk and other areas. On Sunday, the authorities said Ukrainian troops struck an oil refinery in Donetsk.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

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