What are these liquidation camps where Russia is accused of deporting Ukrainians?

War in Ukraine – By the end of March, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine beginning nearly a month later, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s population had been deported.

While many refugees have managed to join the European Union, the fate of other “displaced people” is worrisome. Especially in light of the testimonies published in early April in international newspapers and accusations of “liquidation camps”. “People need to know the truth, Ukrainians are displaced in Russia, the country we are dealing with,” a woman from Mariupol gave an alarm, in the British newspaper. Watchman.

His story has other echoes published in Washington Postor on the BBC website. We can read statements from Ukrainian women – mainly women – telling them that they were taken, sometimes along with hundreds of other people, especially other residents of Mariupol, to a “purification camp”. Testimonials agree.

Those Ukrainian women who managed to stay at home with their families in brief conditions, after being forced by threats from Russian troops out of their shelters, said that they were taken by bus to a camp located in Bezmeny, near Novoazovsk, in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.

On site, lined tents and Russian costumes. They explain that they were called one by one and photographed from every angle. Their fingerprints were taken and they also had to provide codes and passwords for their electronic devices. Then they were interrogated, several times, even once by the FSB, the Russian intelligence services.

They also asked me what I thought of Ukraine, Putin, and the conflict. Everything was humiliating,” the refugee tells guardianwhen adding another in Washington Post That she had the impression that she was being treated like “a captive, a criminal”, like “a sack of potatoes” “we swing from right to left”.

Many women testifying in the media demanded that their names be changed, fearing that their families would be subjected to reprisals.

camp “distribution”

Satellite imagery company Maxar recently transmitted to British media iNews several satellite images of Bizimini showing blue tents lined up near a large barracks. The camp was to be built around March 20.

“At every stage we are told to be grateful to have a sandwich, to be evacuated, and to be set free. But set free from what?” exasperated the Mariupol resident who testifies in Washington Post.

Sometimes the interrogation turns into an informational process. The pregnant young woman, whose photo was photographed after the bombing of the maternity ward in Mariupol, and whose photo has spread all over the world, was also going to pass through one of these filter camps. According to many observers, a video was recently filmed in such a place and under pressure, confirming that there was no air strike. A sequence that is widely broadcast by the usual Kremlin audio relays, such as Russian Mission in Geneva

But Bizimen camp is more a distribution center than a real destination. After spending several hours in this filter camp, witnesses said that they were then sent to Russia, to several places in the Rostov region, in the south of the country.

Ukrainian authorities are concerned

The mayor of Mariupol was one of the first to issue the alert about its residents’ “expulsion”, on the city’s official Telegram channel, adding that the identity papers and passports of its citizens were on the way to being confiscated.

Concern transferred since then Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov. “After passing the nomination camps, Ukrainians are sent to economically poor regions of the Russian Federation. A number of northern regions have been identified as the final destination, in particular – Sakhalin. Ukrainians are “offered” to official employment opportunities through employment centers. Those who accept receive documents Forbid them to leave the Russian regions for two years”, denounced on Facebook, Oleksiy Reznikov.

Lyudmila Denisova, who is responsible in the Verkhovna Rada for monitoring human rights violations, also quoted the accusations: “Our citizens were deported from our lands to their lands. They were taken against their will, forcibly taken to liquidation camps in the Donetsk region.” Russian media also reported that hundreds of Ukrainian “refugees” had also arrived by train in the Yaroslavl and Ryazan regions, according to the BBC.

If the forced displacement of people can constitute war crimes, Moscow strongly refutes and prefers to talk on its side about the “rescue operation” and “evacuation”.

At the United Nations, this Tuesday, April 5, the Russian representative mentioned the numbers of “602 thousand people, including 119,000 children” who were evacuated. She specifically responded to the US intervention by Linda Thomas Greifeld who stated that “reports indicate that Russian Federal Security agents are confiscating their passports, ID cards, and mobile phones, and are separating their families.” “I don’t need to say what the so-called ‘filter camps’ reminds us of. It’s scary,” the American actor also added.

The first camps after World War II

The term “nomination camp” appeared during World War II. After the armistice, the Russians set up this type of structure, also known as “NKVD Special Purpose Camps”, to control Soviet soldiers captured by Nazi Germany and returned to Russian lands. For British historian Nick Barron, the goal is to verify that these soldiers were not too much affected or that they did not become spies for the opposing camp.

The Russian authorities set up liquidation camps notably during the wars in Chechnya between 1994 and 1996, and then between 1999 and 2003. One of the most famous was the Chernokozovo camp, near Grozny. Remember the thousands of Techèchenes who disappeared in these structures at that time the scientist, 2000. A Human Rights Watch report that year also gave testimonies of acts of torture and rape. On Sunday, after discovering the Butch massacre, this same NGO warned against using rape as a weapon of war.

See also on The HuffPost: From Boutcha, Volodymyr Zelensky denounced “genocide”

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