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Red Cross has not yet received access to the colony in Yelenovka | News from Germany about Russia | DW

Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ukraine said on Saturday, July 30, that they had not received a response to their request to visit the colony in Yelenovka, where Ukrainian prisoners of war are being held and in which 50 of them died as a result of an explosion.

The ICRC office in Ukraine recalled that, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, the parties to the conflict are obliged to provide the Red Cross with access to prisoners of war. “We will not stop seeking access to these prisoners of war and to all prisoners of war of this international armed conflict to which we have not yet gained access,” the ICRC said in a statement.

AT Ministry of Defense On the evening of July 30, Russia was told that they had “officially invited” UN and ICRC experts to Yelenovka “in the interests of conducting an objective investigation.” The committee did not say anything about the invitation.

In the colony in Yelenovka on July 29, as a result explosion 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed and more than 70 were injured. The Russian side stated that the Ukrainian military launched a missile attack on the colony where prisoners of war of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are being held. Kyiv categorically denied these accusations and stated that the explosion was staged by the Russian side for the purpose of provocation and in order to “hide the torture of prisoners and executions.”

Kyiv demands from the ICRC and the UN to visit a colony with prisoners of war

The Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense and the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada for Human Rights in a joint statement demanded that the UN and the ICRC “respond immediately” to the loss of life.

Kyiv recalled that the UN and the ICRC acted as “guarantors of the life and health of Ukrainian prisoners of war” who surrendered in Russian captivity after a long siege of the Azovstal plant. The surrender involved a subsequent exchange and took place through the mediation “and under the guarantees” of these organizations, the Ukrainian side said. “The key condition for the chosen format was the obligations of the Russian side to international organizations to save the lives and health of Ukrainian defenders. This guarantee was cynically violated,” the statement says.

dpa: The ICRC cannot act as a guarantor of security

The neutral ICRC has the right to visit prisoners of war in accordance with international law, but the delegates for this need the official approval of the party holding prisoners of war, recalls the dpa agency.

“The Ukrainian government’s statements gave the impression that the UN and the ICRC gave guarantees for the safety of prisoners of war. Since correctional facilities are never run by the ICRC itself, there are no such guarantees. The ICRC only promises to visit prisoners regularly and ensure contact with families. If one of the parties to the conflict does not comply Geneva Conventions, he (Committee. – Ed.) can do little,” the agency notes.

The same principle applies to humanitarian corridors, continues dpa. The ICRC can act as an intermediary in the negotiations for their opening, but this requires that the parties to the conflict come to an agreement. The ICRC, in turn, accompanies the convoys and takes care of the civilian population, recalls dpa.

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