The founder of the Azov Battalion is accusing Russia of deliberately destroying the building that housed captured Ukrainian prisoners in Olenivka because they were members of the military unit notorious for its far-right paramilitary origins.
Andriy Biletsky wrote on his Telegram page that members of the battalion, who were captured after a long defense of Mariupol, were transferred to Olenivka only hours before the explosion that killed at least 53. Biletsky and the Security Services of Ukraine also asserted that the explosion was from a bomb detonated inside the prison by Russia and not struck by artillery or a rocket.
''Moreover, the clips of the bombed building that are being shown on Russian TV show sings of an internal explosion. The windows of neighboring buildings are completely intact. This means that bombed building contained most of the explosion force, something that would never happen if the explosion was external,'' the post from the Security Services read.
The Security Services also claimed to have intercepted a call after the explosion between two Russian military members discussing details that confirmed the explosion was the result of an internally placed bomb.
Russia has blamed Ukraine for the explosion with HIMARS artillery.
''We're collecting information on the victims and perpetrators of this war crime,'' Biletsky wrote. ''It's obvious that this was planned in advance by a country with no honor or respect for the Geneva Conventions.''
''Whoever did this, we'll find you and destroy you''
The Azov Battalion was formed as a volunteer militia unit in 2014 to fight pro-Russian forces in the Donbas War and later incorporated in the Ukrainian National Guard. Its ties to the Azov movement and the ultranationalist Patriot of Ukraine organization have earned it a reputation for its Nazism and far-right ideology.
One of Russian ruler Vladimir Putin's stated justifications of the invasion of Ukraine in February was the rise of Nazism in Ukraine.
According to the most recent information from the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, the internal explosion was carried out by a hired militia called Wagner, a group infamous for its involvement in the war in Ukraine since 2014.
Surprisingly, the Defense Intelligence is alleging that the attack wasn't sanctioned by Russia. Instead, it was organized by the leader of Wagner, Yevhen Prihozhyn.
''The main goal of the attack was to hide evidence of the theft of Russian state funds that were given to maintain the prison. It's known that an inspection from Moscow was coming to the prison on the first of August to evaluate the conditions of the prison camp,'' the post from Defense Intelligence read.
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