US believes Russia plans to ‘create a more docile population’ in part by treating Ukrainians in camps, official says

The United States believed that Russian forces had devised a plan to “create a more docile population” in regions of Ukraine, in part through the forced displacement of civilians, said the American ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). said Thursday.

In Thursday’s speech, OSCE Ambassador Michael Carpenter said the United States believed Russian forces had “moved at least several thousand Ukrainians for treatment” in so-called “death camps”. filtration” and had also moved “at least tens of thousands more to Russia or Russian-controlled territory.”

Carpenter’s description of the detention centers included an explanation of why they are called filter camps.

“There are many eyewitness accounts indicating that ‘screening’ involves beating and torturing individuals to determine whether they owe any allegiance to the Ukrainian state,” he said. “According to these reports, those found to have such allegiance are transferred to the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, where they face a grim fate.”

Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk, two border regions with Russia, experienced a relentless military offensiveas troops pass through small towns en route to the strategic towns of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT
A Ukrainian serviceman walks towards a destroyed house in the village of Yatskivka in eastern Ukraine on April 16, 2022.

RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images


Carpenter quoted a survivor of Russian treatment who said those who failed the “screening” process were shot. And he referred to satellite images that showed some of these makeshift encampments in southeastern Ukraine.

“Victims describe an invasive and humiliating inspection process at these centers,” he said. “Russian soldiers photograph victims from different angles, fingerprint and physically examine them for tattoos, inspect their cell phones and upload their contacts and data to devices, and record their biographical information in various databases. Some victims report being interrogated by suspected Russian intelligence services, and in some cases Russian soldiers simply confiscated passports, IDs and mobile phones.

“As Russia well knows, the forced displacement or transfer of civilians would contravene international humanitarian law – but as we have seen, the Kremlin treats international law with complete disregard,” he added.

In his Thursday speech, Carpenter also denounced Russia’s “vicious and brutal military campaign” and said Russian forces were pushing elected officials out of local offices. He cited “very credible” reports that these officials are “abducted, interned, disappeared and sometimes killed”.

“In their place, according to these reports, Russia is substituting its puppets and proxies, who, like their counterparts in the so-called ‘people’s republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk, operate like a local mafia, relying on violence and terror,” Charpentier said.

He said the United States was particularly concerned about Kherson, where Russia has reportedly installed a pro-Russian “puppet administration” and enforced the use of Russia’s currency, the rouble. Carpenter also said Russia’s actions have “increasingly indicated” that Russia may be considering annexing the region.

The news comes as Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told lawmakers that the United States believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for “a protracted conflict in Ukraine”.

Haines said Putin probably thought Russia had “a greater capacity and a greater will to endure challenges” than Ukraine – but also said that while his belief did not match the capabilities of the Russian military, there was a risk of a “more unpredictable and potentially escalating trajectory” in the conflict.

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