Early reports suggested that the recent attack in Olenivka, eastern Ukraine, resulted in the deaths of dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war. A Russian media outlet published a video on Tuesday, showing the former action star Steven Seagal standing among the wreckage of the prison. However, the information released at the time turned out to be false and outlandish, leading to suggestions that it was an attempt by President Vladimir Putin’s military to divert attention from the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops.
According to the Washington Post, the structure was demolished by Ukrainian forces using U.S.-Manufactured weaponry–a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS–while Moscow claims that both Russia and Ukraine are accusing each other for the demolition of the penitentiary, in the meantime.
Seagal, who is a special representative for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, appears to serve as a spokesperson for the use of HIMARS by Ukraine against Russia in the context of humanitarian relations between the two countries. This is evident in a video posted on the Russian news site TVZVEZDA.
Seagal stated, “It definitely looks like a rocket.” “If you look at it while it’s burning and other details, it’s not a bomb, of course. Let’s not forget to mention the fact that Russia really has a lot of artifacts from HIMARS. This is where HIMARS hit, resulting in 50 people killed and 70 others injured.”
According to the Russian website, Seagal introduced a theory of a conspiracy by proposing that Ukrainian forces employed HIMARS due to the desire of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to suppress a detained individual labeled as a “Nazi”.
Seagal remarked, “Furthermore, it is Zelensky who bears the responsibility for the directives pertaining to torture and various heinous acts which not only contravene the Geneva War Convention, but also constitute egregious offenses against humanity.” “What piques my curiosity is that among those Nazis who were slain, there was one who had recently begun to divulge copious information regarding Zelensky.”
However, The Post indicated that the pictures from the assault on Olenivka jail do not match with HIMARS.
The Post reported that, instead of the damage caused by the most common HIMARS warhead, there were apparent indications of a fierce fire, which contradicts it. The experts were unable to conclusively determine the cause of the damage, but they indicated a lack of marks from flying fragments and craters, as well as minimal harm to the internal walls, based on the available visuals of the aftermath.
TVZVEZDA reported that Seagal was among several delegates to visit the correctional facility.
The news site reported that media representatives from France, Italy, Germany, Serbia, Nicaragua, and North Korea were able to witness the evidence of the strike being executed by Ukrainian militants and from HIMARS. They also personally observed the extensive destruction caused by this brutal shelling.
Open-source intelligence analyst Oliver Alexander commented on the truthfulness of the Seagal video and indicated its genuineness.
The footage of the artifacts, which was originally taken two weeks after Alexander suggested it, shows the star of the action scene positioned on a bench with a blast. The same imagery was also matched with a scene in which Seagal is photographed. The elements of Seagal’s surroundings, as seen in the imagery from the prison, appear to match his statement, according to the BBC.
Alexander informed Military Times that he did not anticipate the “smoking gun” evidence to be managed in such a manner if Russia, firstly, believed it to be genuine evidence and, secondly, had any intention of permitting UN investigators to access the location.