Debate in the UN Security Council: Russia apparently abducts Ukrainians

Debate in the UN Security Council: Russia apparently abducts Ukrainians

In the United Nations Security Council, there has been a heated exchange of blows over allegations of Russian deportation camps in the Ukrainian war zone. The US government has accused the Russian military of forcing people arrested in the war zone into such camps and then taking them against their will to Russia or Russian-held areas of Ukraine. According to estimates, between 900,000 and 1.6 million people were deported from their hometowns, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said at a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Wednesday.

An independent confirmation of such figures in the war zone is hardly possible. The Ukrainian UN delegation even claims that up to 2.5 million people have been deported from the south and east of the country, often to distant regions of Siberia or Russia’s far east.

Norway’s UN Ambassador Mona Juul spoke of a “growing body of independent information” pointing to human rights abuses in these camps.

Available for adoption by Russian families

The UN Human Rights Office says it sees evidence that the Russian military is deporting Ukrainian children to Russia and putting them up for adoption there. According to “credible” indications, “unaccompanied minors” would be forcibly resettled in Russian-occupied areas or directly in Russia, said the deputy head of the UN human rights office, Ilze Brands Kehris, before the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

Brands Kehris said her office was “concerned” that the Russian authorities had introduced a “simplified procedure” for granting Russian citizenship to children without parental care — and that those children would be put “up for adoption by Russian families.”

According to Brands Kehris, Russian forces are also responsible for “filtration” of Ukrainian citizens in occupied territories. Among other things, those affected would have to undergo physical searches and, in some cases, completely undress for this purpose. In addition, their mobile devices would be searched.

Ukrainian citizens accused by Russia of being close to the Kiev government or armed forces have been tortured and sent to Russian penal colonies, she added. Her office is particularly concerned about the risk of sexual abuse that girls and women are exposed to during “filtration”.

“Extremely disturbing”

“The continuing allegations of violent displacement, deportation and so-called filter camps by Russia and affiliated local forces are extremely worrying,” said UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo.

More than seven million people have now fled Ukraine abroad, DiCarlo reported. In addition, the death of 5,718 civilians in the Ukraine war has been confirmed, and many other cases that have not yet been recorded are likely. DiCarlo added, “All wars are tragic, but none are as tragic as the self-imposed.”

Russia has denied the allegations of “filter camps”. “We don’t really understand what is being discussed here,” said Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebensia. The term “filtration” is not clearly defined and facilities in which Ukrainians can express their willingness to emigrate to Russia are normal. After that, they could live freely in Russia and leave the country at any time. According to Nebensya, many people would want to flee from a “Ukrainian regime” that uses its citizens as a human shield.

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