sunny.png
Wednesday September 28th, 2022 12:25PM

US says Russia aims to fabricate evidence in prison deaths

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Thursday said new intelligence suggests Russia is working to fabricate evidence concerning last week's deadly strike on a prison housing prisoners of war in a separatist region of eastern Ukraine.

U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russia is looking to plant false evidence to make it appear that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the July 29 attack on Olenivka Prison that left 53 dead and wounded dozens more, according to White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby

Separately, a Western government official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity, said explosive experts who have reviewed photos of the prison released by the Russians following the incident have determined that the destruction wasn’t likely caused by “a high-explosive strike from the outside” and that it was “much more likely to be incendiary and from inside the location.”

“We anticipate that Russian officials will try to frame the Ukrainian Armed Forces in anticipation of journalists and potential investigators visiting the site of the attack," Kirby said.

Russia has claimed that Ukraine’s military used U.S.-supplied rocket launchers to strike the prison in Olenivka, a settlement controlled by the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic.

The Ukrainian military denied making any rocket or artillery strikes in Olenivka. The intelligence arm of the Ukrainian defense ministry claimed in a statement Wednesday to have evidence that local Kremlin-backed separatists colluded with the Russian FSB, the KGB’s main successor agency, and mercenary group Wagner to mine the barrack before “using a flammable substance, which led to the rapid spread of fire in the room.”

Kirby said the classified intelligence determination — which was recently downgraded — shows that Russian officials might even plant ammunition from medium-ranged High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, as evidence that the systems provided by the U.S. to Ukraine were used in the attack.

Ukraine has effectively used HIMARS launchers, which fire medium-range rockets and can be quickly moved before Russia can target them with return fire, and have been seeking more launchers from the United States.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday angrily dismissed the U.S. officials’ claims about Russia fabricating the evidence.

“It has been absolutely proven and it’s absolutely obvious what happened in Olenivka,” Peskov said Thursday in a conference call with reporters. “Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed by the Ukrainian military. Ukraine killed its soldiers who were in captivity, and many others were wounded. There is an evidence and there is nothing to hide.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday he is appointing a fact-finding mission in response to requests from Russia and Ukraine to investigate the killings at the prison.

Guterres told reporters he doesn’t have authority to conduct criminal investigations but does have authority to conduct fact-finding missions. He added that the terms of reference for a mission to Ukraine are currently being prepared and will be sent to the governments of Ukraine and Russia for approval. Peskov said that Russia has invited the U.N. and the Red Cross to visit the site and conduct a probe.

The Ukrainian POWs at the Donetsk prison included troops captured during the fall of Mariupol. They spent months holed up with civilians at the giant Azovstal steel mill in the southern port city. Their resistance during a relentless Russian bombardment became a symbol of Ukrainian defiance against Russia’s aggression.

More than 2,400 soldiers from the Azov Regiment of the Ukrainian national guard and other military units gave up their fight and surrendered under orders from Ukraine’s military in May.

Scores of Ukrainian soldiers have been taken to prisons in Russian-controlled areas. Some have returned to Ukraine as part of prisoner exchanges with Russia, but other families have no idea whether their loved ones are still alive, or if they will ever come home.

U.S. and U.K. officials, before the war and in its early stages, repeatedly went public with what they said were Russian plans to stage fake videos and events that the Kremlin would blame on Ukraine but in fact were perpetrated by Russia.

Lederer reported from the United Nations. Associated Press writers Jill Lawless in London and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP World News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US says Russia aims to fabricate evidence in prison deaths
U.S. officials believe Russia is working to fabricate evidence concerning last week’s deadly strike on a facility housing prisoners of war in a separatist region of eastern Ukraine
10:39PM ( 4 minutes ago )
After Taiwan, Pelosi in S. Korea to meet political leaders
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet top South Korean political leaders in Seoul after she concluded her high-profile visit to Taiwan by renewing Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to defending democracy on the self-governing island despite vehement protests from China
10:31PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Christian flag in speech battle flies, briefly, over Boston
A Christian flag that became the focus of a free speech battle that went to the Supreme Court has been taken down after briefly flying outside Boston City Hall
10:19PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
US-China ties on a precipice after Pelosi visit to Taiwan
U.S.-China relations are teetering on a precipice after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan
8:36PM ( 2 hours ago )
Abortion vote in Kansas sparks new hope for Dems in midterms
Democrats are celebrating a stunning victory for abortion rights in Republican stronghold Kansas as proof that the issue could turn back a Republican wave this fall
8:01PM ( 2 hours ago )
Senate backs Finland, Sweden for NATO 95-1, rebuking Russia
U.S. Senators delivered an overwhelming bipartisan vote ratifying NATO membership for Finland and Sweden
7:57PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Inspectors OK 1st Ukraine grain ship but no sign yet of more
The first grain ship to leave Ukraine under a Black Sea wartime deal has passed inspection in Istanbul and is heading on to Lebanon
9:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
UN chief criticizes `grotesque greed' of oil companies
The United Nations chief is sharply criticizing the “grotesque greed” of oil and gas companies for making record profits from the energy crisis on the back of the world’s poorest people
8:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
UN fact-finding mission will probe Ukraine prison killings
The United Nations chief says he is appointing a fact-finding mission in response to requests from Russia and Ukraine to investigate the killings at a prison in a separatist region of eastern Ukraine that the warring nations accuse each other of carrying out
6:05PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP World News
After Taiwan, Pelosi in S. Korea to meet political leaders
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet top South Korean political leaders in Seoul after she concluded her high-profile visit to Taiwan by renewing Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to defending democracy on the self-governing island despite vehement protests from China
10:31PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Christian flag in speech battle flies, briefly, over Boston
A Christian flag that became the focus of a free speech battle that went to the Supreme Court has been taken down after briefly flying outside Boston City Hall
10:19PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Alex Jones concedes Sandy Hook attack was '100% real'
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says he now understands he was irresponsible to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax, and he now believes it was “100% real.”
9:55PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Open primary may save Trump's GOP targets in Washington
Two Republican members of Congress from Washington who drew interparty challenges due to their vote to impeach former President Donald Trump were leading other Republicans in the state’s top two primary
9:50PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Arizona county hit with voting problems, officials vow fixes
Officials in an Arizona county are vowing to overhaul their election procedures after a shortage of some ballots at about two dozen voting sites led to some voters leaving before being able to cast their primary ballots
9:46PM ( 57 minutes ago )