Protest in Bristol against killing of Ukrainian POWs

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Image caption,
Anastasiya Oleksiyenko helped to organise the march in Bristol

Ukrainians in Bristol have marched in demonstration against a rocket attack that killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs).

The protest started at 10:30 BST on Saturday on College Green, in the city centre.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for an attack on a prison in the occupied part of the Donetsk region.

Protesters say they "cannot be silent" about the 29 July incident.

The march is calling on the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide security guarantees to POWs.

One of the organisers of the march, Anastasiya Oleksiyenko, 28, from Kharkiv, who is doing a PhD in Economics at the University of Bristol, said: "It's been tragic news.

"There were families who were waiting for their loved ones to come home and these people are now dead.

"This march matters because people in our community are incredibly upset that the blast killed prisoners of war.

"The goal of this meeting was for people to come together and share, and see each other face to face, and see the pain and communicate how they can cope with this."

Image caption,
Olya Radetskaya said she wanted to make sure people did not forget what was happening in Ukraine

Olya Radetskaya, who joined the march, said: "I want to try my hardest to make sure people hear about [the war in Ukraine], remember about it."

She said it was easy to forget the situation if people could not associate with it "but unfortunately this war does affect us all".

"What has been happening in occupied territories is a tragedy."

Last week, Russia invited UN and Red Cross officials to investigate the deaths of 50 Ukrainian POWs killed in unclear circumstances during the attack on a prison in Olenivka.

Ukraine said the prison was targeted by Russia in an effort to destroy evidence of torture and killing.

Russia said the prison camp was hit by Ukrainian precision rockets.

Ahead of the march, Avon and Somerset Police warned the protest could cause some travel disruption.

Image caption,
The march took place through the centre of Bristol

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