Ukraine: the OSCE is alarmed by the “filtration camps”

Ukraine: OSCE alarmed by “filtration camps”< /p> UPDATE DAY

OSCE is 'seriously concerned' about Moscow's treatment of Ukrainian civilians in 'filtration camps' to identify those suspected of links to Kyiv authorities, report says due out Thursday. 

“According to witnesses”, this procedure “involves brutal interrogations and humiliating body searches”, write the three authors of this 115-page document consulted by 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 recorded there, their fingerprints identified and their identity documents copied”, details the report of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The objective is apparently to determine if 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 the others and often disappear altogether,” point out the experts, two of whom traveled to Ukraine in June to complete their work, which was written on the basis of multiple sources. 

“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 they get there, they are promised jobs and free housing. They are certainly free of their movement but “they often do not have enough information, money, or no telephone” to be able to leave the country, notes the report.

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” from “dangerous areas”.

There are “about 20 such structures,” said Yevhenii Tsybalium, Ukraine's ambassador to the OSCE, 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 refused to cooperate. Covering the period from April to June, it confirms the discovery of “manifest violations of rights” that may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The organization, established in 1975, in the heart of the Cold War, to foster East-West dialogue, had led a similar initiative in 2018 to examine crimes in Chechnya against LGBT + people or in 2020, following the fraudulent elections and repression in Belarus.&nbsp ;