UN to establish fact-finding mission into Ukraine prison attack, secretary-general says
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. (Xie E/Xinhua/Getty Images)
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a Wednesday news conference that the UN is seeking to establish a fact-finding team to study the attack on a Ukrainian detention facility that resulted in at least 50 deaths and dozens of injuries of Ukrainian prisoners of war.
Russia and Ukraine both requested an investigation into the attack, Guterres told reporters in New York. He added that the terms of reference for the panel would need to be accepted by Russia and Ukraine before the fact-finding mission would begin.
Guterres also said the fact-finding team would not be a criminal investigation, adding that the UN is looking for "independent team members."
Russia previously invited experts from the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to conduct an "objective investigation" into the deaths of Ukrainian prisoners held at the Olenivka jail in the Donetsk region, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday.
However, the International Committee of the Red Cross told CNN Saturday that its “demands for access” to the site have not been granted. More context: The Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Defence Intelligence department claimed Wednesday that the detonation of the building was carried out by
Wagner, the private military contractor whose fighters have been involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as other conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.
CNN is unable to verify the claim by the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence department, which provided no evidence to support its allegation. Ukraine has consistently accused Russian forces of carrying out the attack last Thursday night, in response to Russian claims that Ukraine had used US high
mobility artillery rocket systems to attack the center in order to prevent Ukrainian prisoners from admitting war crimes.
CNN’s Jo Shelly and Tim Lister contributed reporting to this post.
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