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 following requests from both Russia and Ukraine to investigate. 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.
Video aired on Russian networks and shared on social media channels in Donetsk show extensive destruction to a building and several bodies. CNN was able to geolocate footage of the strike to an industrial area about two miles outside the frontline town of Olenivka.
The Ukrainian military said the explosion took place on the territory of the industrial zone, in a newly-constructed building specially equipped to hold prisoners taken out of Azovstal.
The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the strike. En una oracion, it said pretrial preliminary data shows “the occupying state struck the territory of penal colony No. 120 in the temporarily occupied Olenivka village of Volnovakha district of Donetsk region.”
Donetsk and Luhansk are the two regions that together form Donbas, the eastern part of Ukraine where the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists started in
The area has become the centerpiece of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military ambition in Ukraine after his troops failed to take over Kyiv earlier this year.
The Russian military has kept up a persistent barrage of artillery and missile strikes across the region for several weeks. The Kremlin says the goal of what it calls its “operación militar especial” is to take control of both Luhansk and Donetsk.