Ukraine
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After months of denials, Kyiv is demanding the International Committee of the Red Cross visit a notorious prison in eastern Ukraine. The prison is the scene of a horrific attack that killed more than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war. The Red Cross is requesting access to the camp despite not having been officially mandated to do so.

The Ukrainian government has blamed Moscow for the deaths of Ukrainian prisoners of war, and the Russian military has denied any involvement in the shelling. But pro-Russia separatist forces are suspected of having aided the Russians. Satellite images show that the prison’s small building in the center was destroyed in the attack. The ICRC has sought access to the prison to assess the damage and to evacuate the wounded. Its officials say life-saving treatment is the top priority, followed by a dignified burial for the dead.

The government says the mission must visit Olenivka prison within three days. The prison is located in Kyiv. The mission must be completed by June 30. The government is asking for the international community to fund this mission. The United Nations has been urged to do more to help in the war-torn country.

The conflict has strained relations between Ukraine and Qatar. Tensions have increased since the Emir of Qatar telephoned Ukraine’s president. In April, Qatar criticized Russia’s plan to annex Ukrainian territory. However, it participated in a NATO+8 summit in Germany.

The Red Cross has not yet visited Olenivka, but President Zelensky has said it will visit the notorious prison next week. He said the mission would be similar to the one conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency in August. The ICRC declined to comment.

On Friday, Russia launched rockets at a town in Belgorod region, 90 miles north of Kharkiv. One of the strikes destroyed a five-storey apartment building. A man and woman were killed in the attack, but five people are still trapped under the rubble. Rescuers have rescued an 11-year-old boy, but have not yet announced any other casualties.

A group of officials from Ukraine’s President’s Office has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross to send a delegation to the notorious prison in eastern Ukraine. The Red Cross is expected to visit the prison between Oct. 17. Despite Russia’s insistences, the Ukrainian government is determined to bring the Red Cross to the region.

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