The Case of the “Azovstal” Prisoners: Russia Dictates its Rules

by Olha Povaliaieva
Saturday, January 15, 2023
The Case of the “Azovstal” Prisoners: Russia Dictates its Rules

The UN dissolved the commission investigating the death of Ukrainian prisoners of war in the colony of Olenivka

More than half a year has passed since Russia locked up Ukrainian servicemen in the occupied colony of the Donetsk region and committed a terrorist act. In the colony in Olenivka, most of the POWs were from the Azovstal plant. Let us recall that the defenders of Mariupol surrendered into captivity with guarantees of safety and observance of the rules of keeping prisoners of war. But almost a month later, Russia killed 53 prisoners and wounded 73 others, setting off an explosion in a closed colony.

The UN reacted and called a commission of inquiry to investigate the explosion. But on January 5, 2023, Reuters reported that the investigation was stopped. UN spokesman Stefan Dujarrik confirmed the information and explained the reason for this decision — the lack of necessary guarantees for the safety of the mission participants and the ability to work at the site of the tragedy. It should be noted that the Kremlin has never allowed a UN mission to Olenivka since July. According to Dujarrik, the mission members did not receive clear boundaries and confirmation that the visit of UN representatives will be safe. The United Nations has also stated that if both sides can secure the deployment of the investigation, they will reconvene the special mission.

It was clear that the Russian Federation did not allow representatives of Ukraine and other countries to visit crime scenes. But Ukraine is determined to fight for the truth.

Recall also that recently the parliament of Ukraine adopted a law on the service of foreigners in the Azov regiment. Perhaps this decision will spur the world to show more determination to protect the military's rights than to follow the Kremlin's rules.

At the moment, about 2000 Azovstal defenders are still in captivity in Russia. Although these people protected not only Mariupol but all of Ukraine with their bodies and life.

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