The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has deplored an attack on a prison in Donetsk, in the town of Elenovka, which has claimed the lives of more than 50 people, and called the alleged video of a castration of a Ukrainian serviceman appalling.
«The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by the Russian Armed Forces and their representatives. These barbaric and inhumane acts represent grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocol and constitute war crimes,» it stressed in a statement.
It also described as «atrocious» the alleged video that has been circulated on social networks, as well as on «pro-Kremlin channels», of a Ukrainian serviceman castrated by Russian forces during his captivity.
This action has also been echoed by Amnesty International. The British newspaper ‘The Guardian’, has reported speculations, in no way confirmed, that the alleged Russian serviceman responsible for the mutilation served with a Chechen formation known as the Ajat battalion and had fought in the Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk.
In her reaction to the images, Amnesty’s director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers, described a «gruesome assault» that «appears to be yet another example of the utter disregard Russian forces exhibit for human dignity and human life in Ukraine».
With regard to the attack on the prison, while at first Moscow accused Kiev of having carried it out, Ukraine later responded with the opposite version, pointing to Russian forces as responsible for an incident they have labeled as a war crime.
At this point, the Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelenski, has held a meeting with senior officials of the Ukrainian Army, Defense and Intelligence to discuss «in detail» what he considers a «terrorist attack organized by Russian inhuman monsters».
«There is enough evidence that this was a planned crime. And this is another confirmation that Russia is a terrorist state,» the Ukrainian president stressed in a post on his Telegram social network channel.
The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, for their part, have assured that the attack would have been carried out with a HIMARS — a multiple launch rocket system — and have specified that «the criminal regime in Kiev deliberately destroys Ukrainian militiamen who have surrendered to hide the traces of war crimes committed against the civilian population of Donbas».
On the other hand, the advisor to the Ukrainian Presidency, Mikhail Podoliak, argued that «the scale and speed of the information campaign of the Russian propagandists indicate that it was a planned and organized action».
«This is a classic, cynical and elaborate false flag operation,» he has pointed out, before accusing Russian forces of «concealing evidence of the scale of Russian war crimes and torture,» «affecting agreements for the exchange (of prisoners)» and «discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine.»