Washington, May 12, 2022 (AFP) – The United States on Thursday accused the Russian army of having “forced” thousands of Ukrainians to Russia since the start of the war on February 24.
Kiev, in turn, presented the figure of almost 1.2 million Ukrainians deported by Moscow to Russia, and also denounced the existence of “triage camps” in Moscow-controlled territories in eastern Ukraine, through which these ” deportees”.
“The United States estimates that Russian forces transferred at least a few thousand Ukrainians to these ‘triage camps’ and evacuated tens of thousands more to Russia, without telling them what their final destination would be,” the ambassador said on Thursday. American at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Carpenter.
“Even if it’s just from Mariupol,” the port city that is now virtually controlled by Russia, “we estimate that Russian forces have forcibly taken thousands of civilians into Russian territory,” the diplomat added in a speech delivered in Vienna, Austria. according to the transcript published by the US State Department.
Carpenter cited testimonies about “brutal interrogations”, including “torture”, in these “triage camps”, intended to identify anyone with the “minimum of loyalty to Ukraine”.
There are “many reports of the confiscation of detainees’ cell phones”, as well as their passports, as well as “passwords obtained under duress” and “scans of social media and messaging platforms for any sign of opposition to Russia’s barbaric war”. against Ukraine”, he detailed.
“Based on this information, those who are considered pro-Ukraine are led to the so-called ‘People’s Republic of Donetsk'”, controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, “where they face a sinister fate”, denounced Carpenter.
“These acts constitute war crimes,” he stressed. “Russia is well aware” that “forced displacement” is “contrary to international humanitarian law,” she insisted.
According to Lyudmyla Denisova, a Ukrainian government official, “more than 1.19 million” of Ukrainians, “including more than 200,000 children, have been deported to the Russian Federation”.