There are Russian officials“Questioned,Between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, including 260,000 children, have been detained and forcibly deported from their homes within Russian territory, mostly to isolated regions in the Far East, US Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken said On Wednesday.
Mr. Blinken described the transfers as “a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians” and “a war crime”.
Russia admits 1.5 million Ukrainians are now in Russia, but insists they were expelled for their own safety.
Ukrainian officials have long issued warnings to Russia DeportationsWith President Volodymyr Zelensky Describes the past month They were “one of Russia’s most heinous war crimes.” Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than 200,000 children have been deported.
Testimony to The New York Times and other news organizations Deportees who left Russia included accounts of filtering sites and interrogations, beatings and disappearances of those believed to be linked to Ukraine’s armed forces.
European officials have described filtering sites set up in schools, sports centers and cultural institutions recently seized by Russian forces in parts of Ukraine.
From those sites, many Ukrainians have been transported to locations across Russia — often to areas far from Ukraine, near China or Japan, according to testimony.
Some US officials have previously raised concerns Deportationsbut gave only vague estimates of size.
Michael Carpenter, US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; said during a speech in Vienna in May Several witnesses have given detailed accounts of Russia’s “brutal interrogations.” Inside At least several thousand Ukrainians were forced into concentration camps and at least tens of thousands were deported.
On Wednesday Mr. Blinken’s report also cited reports that Russian forces were “deliberately” separating Ukrainian children from their parents and abducting others from orphanages. Witnesses and survivors described “frequent incidents of threats, harassment and torture by Russian security forces”.
In some cases, Ukrainians’ passports were confiscated and replaced with Russian ones, the report said, “in an apparent attempt to change the demographic structure of some parts of Ukraine.”
Mr. Blinken said the United States is calling for an immediate end to the deportations and for the Russian authorities to release the detainees and allow them to return home. The statement said independent observers should be allowed access to filtering sites and locations where Ukrainians are allegedly deported.
His statement came ahead of Thursday’s Ukraine Accountability Conference in The Hague. ConferenceThe Dutch government, led by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the European Commission, aims to ensure that war crimes in Ukraine go unpunished.
“President Putin and his government cannot afford to engage in these systematic abuses with impunity,” Mr. Blinken said. “Responsibility is essential.”
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