Families of Azovstal Defenders Protest Olenivka Attack

Family members of Ukrainian servicemen that defended the Azovstal steelworks gathered in Kyiv on July 30 to protest an attack on a detention center in Russian-occupied Olenivka the previous day that killed Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Dozens of attendees held signs that read “Free the defenders of Azovstal” and “Geneva Convention doesn’t work” as they collectively chanted “Russia is a sponsor of terrorism”.

“Before the attack there was still hope he would return, but after yesterday’s situation who knows,” said Violetta Shovkova, the wife of one of the defenders.

“War crimes, crimes against humanity, and the genocide of the Ukrainian people in the 21st century must be punished,” said the Association of Families of Defenders of Azovstal in their demand for Russia to be internationally recognized as a terrorist state.

Both Ukraine and Russia denied responsibility for the attack in Olenivka, with Russia’s Ministry of Defense blaming US-made HIMARS and Kyiv accusing Russian forces of shelling the detention center.

The Russian MoD said at least 40 Ukrainian PoWs had been killed and a further 75 injured in the incident. It said eight employees of the detention center were also injured.

Neither the cause of the incident nor the casualty figures have been verified by Storyful. Credit: Suspilne News via Storyful

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