US: We Have New Evidence on 'Series of Horrors' in Ukraine

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield says up to 1.6M Ukrainians have been deported to Russia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 8, 2022 11:05 AM CDT
US: Up to 1.6M Ukrainians Have Been Deported to Russia
A display on Russian filtration operations is seen during a press conference at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

The US said Wednesday it has evidence that "hundreds of thousands" of Ukrainian citizens have been interrogated, detained, and forcibly deported to Russia in "a series of horrors" overseen by officials from Russia's presidency. The charge came during a United Nations Security Council meeting called to discuss Russia's "filtration operations," the AP reports. The operations involve Ukrainians voluntarily fleeing the war in their homeland and those forcibly being moved to Russia passing through a series of "filtration points," where treatment allegedly ranges from interrogations, data collection, and strip searches to being yanked aside, tortured, sent to a detention center in Russia, and never seen again.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said estimates from a variety of sources, including the Russian government, indicate that Russian authorities have interrogated, detained, and forcibly deported between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainians. She said they are sent to Russia, often to isolated regions in its far eastern regions. "These operations aim to identify individuals Russia deems insufficiently compliant or compatible to its control," Thomas-Greenfield said. "And there is mounting and credible evidence that those considered threatening to Russian control because of perceived pro-Ukrainian leanings are 'disappeared' or further detained."

Russia's presidency isn't only coordinating filtration operations but is providing lists of Ukrainians to be targeted for filtration, she added. She said estimates indicate thousands of children have been subject to filtration, "some separated from their families and taken from orphanages before being put up for adoption in Russia." According to US information, "more than 1,800 children were transferred from Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine to Russia" just in July, she said.

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Russia's UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, accused the West of trying to besmirch his country. He said more than 3.7 million Ukrainians, including 600,000 children, have gone to Russia or Russian-controlled separatist areas in eastern Ukraine, but they "aren't being kept in prisons." "They are living freely and voluntarily in Russia, and nobody is preventing them from moving or preventing them leaving the country," he said. Thomas-Greenfield said the US knew Russia would deny using filtration, "but there's a simple way to know if any of this is true." "Let the United Nations in," she told Nebenzia and other council members. "Give the independent observers access. Give NGOs access. Allow humanitarian access. Let the world see what is going on."

(More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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