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OSCE Envoy Says Evidence Of 'Filtration Camps' Emerging From Areas Of Ukraine Claimed By Russian Forces

By RFE/RL April 28, 2022

The U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says there is credible evidence that Russian forces have been rounding up people in areas of Ukraine's south and east and detaining them in "filtration camps," where they are interrogated.

On April 28, Ambassador Michael Carpenter told the Permanent Council of the OSCE that there has been "credible reporting" that Russia's forces are detaining people in these regions and "brutally interrogating them for any supposed links to the legitimate Ukrainian government or to independent media outlets."

There also have been "alarming reports" that people suspected of having such connections are beaten or tortured before being transferred to the Donetsk region, "where they are reportedly disappeared or murdered," Carpenter told the council, according to a text of his statement.

"Our information indicates Russia is abducting, torturing, and/or murdering locally elected leaders, journalists, and civil society activists, as well as religious leaders," Carpenter said.

He said the Mariupol mayor's office reports that four filtration camps are operating in the city and that accounts from these camps are "harrowing."

He cited one example of an escapee who described the filtration camps as "like ghettos." The escapee said the Russians divide people into groups including those having connections with the Ukrainian Army or the territorial defense force, as well as journalists and government workers.

He warned said Western countries should expect Russia to intensify the forced transfers of Ukrainians via filtration camps.

Carpenter also said Russia may be planning to stage "sham" referendums in an attempt to "legitimize" its invasion and assert control over areas in the south and east that it has claimed.

Ukrainians in cities such as Kherson have warned that Russia may soon stage a referendum there asking residents if they approve of the "independence" of an entity called the Kherson People's Republic, he said.

"Of course, no such entity exists outside of the Kremlin's web of lies," he said. "And the international community must make clear that any such referendum will never be recognized as legitimate."

Carpenter said the reports bring back "horrific memories of a bygone era" and said the international community must act with a greater sense of urgency to stop these acts.

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-ukraine- filtration-camps-osce/31825625.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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