US officials believe Russia is working to fabricate evidence related to last week’s deadly attack on a prison holding prisoners of war in a breakaway region in eastern Ukraine.
U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russia is seeking to produce fake evidence to pretend that Ukrainian forces are responsible for the July 29 attack on the Olenivka prison that left 53 dead and dozens more. wounded, a US official familiar with the intelligence findings told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Russia claims that the Ukrainian military used US-supplied missile launchers to attack the prison in Olenivka, a settlement controlled by the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic.
The Ukrainian military denies carrying out any missile or artillery attack in Olenivka. The intelligence service of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry stated in a statement on Wednesday that there is evidence that local Kremlin-backed separatists have colluded with the Russian FSB, the main successor to the KGB and group of Wagner mercenaries to exploit the barracks before “using a combustible substance. resulting in a rapid spread of fire in the room”.
The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said classified intelligence – which was recently downgraded – showed that Russian officials could even place projectiles from the System. medium-range high mobility missiles, or HIMARS, as evidence that US-supplied systems to Ukraine were used in the attack.
Russia is expected to act as it anticipates independent investigators and journalists will eventually gain access to Olenivka, the official added.
Ukraine has made good use of HIMARS launchers, which are medium-range and can move quickly before Russia can target them with return fire, and is looking for more launchers from the United States.