The Killing of Prisoners of War in Olenivka: the Expert Explained Why Russia Took Such a Step

Ivan Sichen, an expert of the Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies “Borysfen Intel”, for


Russia prepared the murder of the captured Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal in Olenivka in advance. The Russian leadership could have resorted to this in order not to exchange Ukrainian fighters and maintain its authority among its electorate. On the other hand, terrorists from the so-called LDPR could kill Ukrainian soldiers in order to take revenge. Military expert Ivan Sichen told about this in a comment to


“Russians think like zombies — that it’s supposed to be Nazis’ destroying themselves. Therefore, they were against the exchange for Russian prisoners of war immediately. The media talked about it. Therefore, the Russian authorities faced the problem of not being able to exchange our soldiers. Because otherwise they would lose their authority. And they resolved the problem in that way — they killed our military. They shifted the responsibility to Ukraine. Another reason is that the Russians tortured the defenders of Azovstal and tried to hide the evidence. And the only option to hide it was to destroy the people who were tortured. This situation confirms that Russia cannot be trusted and no agreement with it is worth anything”, says Sichen.

In Russia, this development was foreseen in advance, says a military expert.

“They said that these are terrorists and they should be killed. It was all planned. The wreckage of the American HIMARS was brought to the place where our fighters were. That allegedly it was Ukraine that killed its own military. We had an agreement that our military would leave Mariupol, but their lives would be spared. Even then, statements began to be made that this should not be done. That is why the Russians killed them. The leadership of Russia had prepared everything to act in this way. “It is likely that the militants of the so-called LDPR themselves decided to kill our fighters — for personal reasons and resentment for the great losses they suffered”, Sichen explains.

The moral breakdown is beginning in the Russian army, the expert emphasizes.

“This leads to the disintegration of the country. Transformation of the army into gang formation. The war dragged on. The Russians, even if they had a motivation, albeit a far-fetched fight against the Nazis, have now lost it. They see that no one in Ukraine supports Russia. Mass drunkenness and depression begin in the Russian army. Many cadre commanders were killed. Destroyed were bases and headquarters. So, the morale is like this on all fronts of hostilities. Russia has been conducting covert mobilization since May 2022. But it can’t do it covertly. The Russian army started fighting with itself”, says Sichen.

On the night of July 29, the Russians killed a part of the military prisoners of the “Azov” regiment, who were in the Olenivka penal colony, the leader of the “Azov” movement, Andrii Biletskyi, said. According to the Russian aggressors, more than 50 Ukrainian defenders were killed in the explosion in the colony for prisoners of war in Olenivka. Immediately after the explosion, Russia accused the Armed Forces of Ukraine of shelling the penal colony. Ukrainian security services stated that the explosion in Olenivka was a Russian terrorist act.

Author: Anastasiia Prokaieva

The article is available in Ukrainian

The article is available in Russian



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