Macron promises Zelenskyy that Russia will face justice for POW ‘massacre’

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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a phone call Monday that France will support criminal investigations over the bombing last week of a jail holding Ukrainian prisoners of war.

“A few days after a new massacre perpetrated by the Russian armed forces in Olenivka, and while war crimes are multiplying, [Macron] reaffirmed his support for the Ukrainian people and their resistance, and expressed his determination to ensure that these crimes do not go unpunished,” said an Elysée official briefed on the call.

More than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war died in the shelling on Friday in Olenivka, a town in territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists since 2014, according to authorities in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Last week, Western officials including the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, the French foreign ministry and the U.K.’s ambassador to Ukraine called for an international investigation into the bombing.

During Monday’s 90-minute call — the 35th between the two leaders since December, according to the Elysée — Macron also confirmed France’s continued backing for the Ukrainian army and for “short-term macroeconomic” support to Ukraine.

The French president also welcomed the departure of the first ship carrying grain out of Ukraine on Monday.