The Tragedy of Olenivka

by Olha Povaliaieva
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
The Tragedy of Olenivka

Relatives of captured Mariupol fighters called on the UN to use effective mechanisms of investigation

More than 3 months ago, Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol surrendered to the Russian Federation. Ukraine and Russia agreed on a gradual exchange of prisoners of war. The agreement should be monitored by representatives of the United Nations and the Red Cross. On 29 July, however, the Russian Federation’s military committed a terrorist act, killing defenceless prisoners in a detention centre in occupied Olenivka.

On August 22, the United Nations created a team to investigate the attack. The UN secretary-general announced that a commission will be sent to Olenivka. Experts had to establish the facts of the tragedy. But even after 1.5 months, experts did not come to Ukraine. The representative of the secretary-general of the United Nations said that the commission could not proceed with the investigation. The reason for the refusal of the investigation is the dangerous situation at the scene for the visit of UN representatives.

That is why the relatives of the surviving POWs called on the United Nations to adopt truly effective mechanisms to investigate the attack immediately. They believe that the fact that a powerful international organization cannot carry out an investigation unleashes the hands of Russian bandits.

"Today, not a single rule of the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war is implemented by Russia. We understand that the creation of a commission without access to the scene of the crime will not help to achieve justice for the Ukrainian defenders, who were tragically killed and wounded while in captivity. This is a flagrant violation of all international agreements and guarantees," said Natalia Zarytskaya, head of the Ukrainian organization Women from Steel.

You will be interested