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DPR minister says Kiev sought to kill prisoners in Yelenovka because they began to testify

It is reported that 47 prisoners were killed on the spot while 70 were wounded

DONETSK, August 9. /TASS/. Natalia Nikonorova, the Foreign Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, on Tuesday said Ukraine had struck a prison in Yelenovka, where captured Ukrainian troops were held, because the prisoners started to give testimonies that didn’t please Kiev.

"They decided to terminate their own servicemen that we took prisoner. We understand perfectly well why they did that and why they made that step. It’s because these prisoners began to testify and these testimonies were extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant for the Ukrainian government because these testimonies expose all the criminal orders that they receive here on the front line. They openly talk about all the atrocities they committed. Therefore, apparently in order to cover up their actions, the Ukrainian authorities gave that order," she told reporters as she traveled to the prison.

Nikonorova was travelling with State Duma Committee on International Affairs Chairman Leonid Slutsky and a group of foreign reporters and experts.

Slutsky said 47 prisoners were killed on the spot while 70 were wounded. Four of the wounded died later.

The strike on the prison that holds Ukrainian prisoners including troops from the Azov nationalist battalion (banned in Russia and is designated as a terrorist organization) took place on July 29 and hit the unit that held 193 people.