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Russia is attempting to fabricate evidence amid an investigation into an attack on a prison in Ukraine last month that left 53 dead and 75 injured, according to a report.
US intelligence officials have determined that Russia is attempting to shift the blame for causing the attack by placing false evidence to suggest that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the July 29 attack on Olenivka Prison, a US official said. ‘Associated Press.
The prison is located in Donetsk, an area of eastern Ukraine ruled by separatists and occupied by Russia. Both countries said the other was responsible for the attack.
The unidentified official said the prison intelligence report shows that Russia intends to plant evidence to suggest that Ukraine was responsible, including ammunition for US-supplied medium-range high-mobility artillery missile systems, or HIMARS.
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Moscow said the Ukrainian military used US-supplied rockets on the prison, while Ukraine said Russia used “false flag” tactics to set the prison on fire and then blame them.
The Ukrainian army subsequently denied having carried out rocket or artillery attacks on the prison.
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Ukrainian intelligence officials said they had evidence that Kremlin-backed separatists colluded with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB’s main successor agency, to attack the prison.
Prisoners from Olenivka prison included Ukrainian prisoners of war who survived the Russian siege at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Ukrainian soldiers who are forced to surrender and taken prisoner by Russia are often imprisoned in Russian-controlled systems.
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The US intelligence report comes when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed a fact-finding mission to investigate the killings in the prison. The investigation came after both Russia and Ukraine asked the United Nations to investigate the July 29 attack.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.