UKRAINE: Ukraine called upon the US to officially recognise Russia as a state propagator of terrorism while mourning the deaths of dozens of prisoners in a Russian-held jail on Friday.
Zelenskyy revealed almost 50 prisoners were killed, calling the shelling a “deliberate Russian war crime.”
He appeared in a late-night video address and said, “I am appealing, especially, to the United States of America. A decision is needed, and it is needed now.”
Noting that several people died and more were injured, Russia and Moscow-backed separatists had earlier accused Kyiv forces of shelling the jail using US-supplied high precision High Mobility Artillery Rocket System rockets.
Russia also opened a probe into the case, sending a team to the site from Russia’s main criminal investigation agency. The deputy commander of the Donetsk separatist forces, Eduard Basurin, blamed Kyiv for the attack, suggesting that the Ukrainian troops deliberately shelled the prison to prevent prisoners from releasing key military information.
Zelenskyy denied the allegations, opposing any claims that Ukrainian forces have targeted civilian infrastructure or prisoners of war.
Russian state media played images of the shelled prison, blurred images of what seems to be human corpses, destroyed barracks, and tangled metal beds.
Ukrainian prisoners of war captured by Russian forces in the Donetsk region included those who defended the Azovstal plant in the port city of Mariupol, according to the Kremlin.
Former paramilitary unit Azov battalion was previously linked to far-right and Neo-Nazi groups by the Russian Defence Ministry.