Pro-Russian soldiers stand guard at a camp to temporarily house civilians. OSCE accuses Russia and its allies of using camps to track down and disappear Ukrainians who allegedly collaborated with kyiv to defend the country.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is “seriously concerned” about Moscow's treatment of Ukrainian civilians in “filtration camps” designed to identify those suspected of links to kyiv authorities, according to a report to be released Thursday.
According to witnesses, this procedure involves brutal interrogations and humiliating body searches, write the three authors of this 115-page document consulted by the 'AFP, referring to an alarming development.
Ukrainians evacuated from besieged cities, such as the strategic port of Mariupol, or those leaving territories occupied by Russian troops are forced to pass through these centers.
Their personal data is there registered, their fingerprints taken and their identity documents copied, details the OCSE report. The aim is apparently to determine whether the people fought on the Ukrainian side or have connections with the Azov regiment or the Ukrainian authorities.
If so, these people are separated from others and often simply disappear altogether, point out the experts, two of whom traveled to Ukraine in June to complete their work written on the basis of multiple sources.
< p class="e-p">Some are transferred to the self-declared separatist territories of Lugansk and Donetsk, where they are detained or even killed, he adds, a practice suggesting that Russia uses these two entities to circumvent its international obligations.
Those who pass the test are often sent to Russia, with or without their consent.
Once there, they are promised employment and free housing. They are certainly free to move, but they often do not have enough information, money, or no telephone to be able to leave the country, the report notes.
kyiv has been denouncing for several weeks deportations which would have affected more than a million Ukrainians, Moscow assuring for its part that its only goal is to allow civilians to evacuate dangerous areas.
There are about 20 such structures, estimates Yevhenii Tsybalium, Ambassador of Ukraine to OCSE, quoted in the document.
This is the second report of the OSCE since the beginning of the conflict within the framework of the so-called Moscow mechanism, in which Russia has refused to cooperate. Covering the period from April to June, it confirms the discovery of manifest violations of rights which may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The organization, established in 1975, at the heart of the Cold War, to promote East-West dialogue, had carried out a similar initiative in 2018 to examine crimes in Chechnya against LGBTQ + people or in 2020, following the fraudulent elections and the repression in Belarus.
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