The US has accused the Russian army of having “forced” several thousand Ukrainians to Russia since the war began in February, often passing through “filtering camps” where they are subjected to “brutal” treatment.
The Ukrainian government presented the figure of 1.2 million people deported by Moscow to Russia and denounced the existence of Russian “filtering camps”, often in Russian-controlled territories in eastern Ukraine, through which these “deportees” pass. “.
“The United States estimates that Russian forces transferred at least several thousand Ukrainians to these ‘filtering camps’ and moved at least tens of thousands more into Russia or Russian-controlled territories, sometimes without telling them what their ultimate destination was. “, said on Thursday the ambassador of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Carpenter.
In a speech delivered in Vienna, the diplomat said he estimated that from Mariupol, a strategic port city now almost controlled by Russia, Russian forces “forcibly displaced several thousand civilians into Russian territory”.
Carpenter referred to testimonies about the “brutal interrogations”, accompanied by “tortures”, suffered in these “filtering camps”, designed to identify anyone who has “the least allegiance to Ukraine”.
“Many stories report the confiscation of detainees’ mobile phones” or even their passports, “passwords obtained under duress, social networks and messages traced to [detetar] any sign of opposition to Russia’s barbaric war against Ukraine,” he said.
The ambassador further denounced that, “according to this information, those who are considered pro-Ukraine are being transferred to the so-called ‘People’s Republic of Donetsk'”, controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, “where they face a dark fate”.
“These acts constitute war crimes,” he stressed.
Michael Carpenter stressed that “Russia knows well” that such “forced displacements” are “contrary to international humanitarian law”.
According to a Ukrainian government official, Lioudmila Denissova, “more than 1.19 million” of Ukrainians, “including more than 200,000 children, have been deported to the Russian Federation”.
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