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Ukraine shells prison holding POWs – Donbass official

Ukrainian troops shelled a prison housing POWs in Yelenovka early Friday morning, Donetsk People’s Republic Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov wrote on his Telegram channel.

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

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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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