war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

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Ukrainians may be put in camps and deported as ‘foreigners’ from Russian-occupied Donbas

Halya Coynash

Filtration Photo posted by Tvoie misto

Filtration Photo posted by Tvoie misto

After virtually razing Mariupol and other cities in occupied Donbas to the ground, Russia is escalating terror and threats of deportation to try to force surviving residents to accept Russian citizenship.  One especially cynical method is by creating ‘filtration camps’ for those it calls ‘foreign nationals’, with these almost certainly to include Ukrainians living in their own native land.  The Russian invaders began using ‘filtration camps’ from the beginning of their full-scale invasion, with people imprisoned in horrific conditions and most often tortured if suspected of links with Ukraine’s Armed Forces or, simply, if they were considered ‘too pro-Ukraine’.  Now, however, they want to use the same type of imprisonment and, then, deportation, merely for refusing to accept forced ‘russification’.

On 21 June, the Mariupol City Council posted ‘a decision’ from the Russian proxy ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ on members of a so-called interdepartmental group on creating temporary holding units for those they describe as being people with foreign citizenship or stateless persons.  The Council’s assessment is, doubtless, correct that “in essence the Russian occupiers are creating filtration camps in order to foist [Russian] passports on to Ukrainians. Those who refuse to take a Russian passport can now be placed in a camp and forcibly expelled.  It’s of no concern to them that people are living in their own home.”

The Council suggests that this new move is a response to the fact that people are not taking Russian citizenship, despite intensive measures using the ‘administrative resource’ under Russian control.  According to Ukraine’s National Resistance Centre, the aggressor state is having the same lack of success in occupied parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, with Moscow disgruntled with the collaborators, it installed as supposed ‘leaders’, such as Edward Balitsky and Volodymyr Saldo. 

Two months after Russia staged evidently fake ‘referendums’ in occupied parts of Ukraine and claimed near total support for ‘joining Russia’, the world watched Kherson residents joyfully welcome Ukrainian liberators.  This may well be one of the reasons why Kherson has been so savagely bombed and shelled by the Russians ever since, and may well be one of the reasons for the aggressive attempts to force Russian citizenship on the population in advance of the fake ‘elections’ scheduled for Autum 2023. 

On 27 April this year, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a ‘decree’ envisaging the deportation of Ukrainians from currently occupied parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk; Luhansk; Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts for refusing to take Russian citizenship.  Such a refusal was purportedly not enough to justify deportation, there needed to also be actions that “pose a threat to Russia’s national security”.  For the aggressor state, however, attending what they call ‘unauthorized rallies’ can constitute such a threat to its national security.  You will also be deported as such a ‘threat’ if you support the liberation of occupied territory’ (with this described as “supporting the violent change of the basis of constitutional order of the RF”).

Any such deportation is in direct violation of international law, including the Geneva Conventions which Russia is a party to, and Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  The latter states that the deportation or forcible transfer of the population constitutes a crime against humanity “when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:”

Putin has signed his name to this crime, just as he has to the deportation of Ukrainian children for which he is already under an international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor.

A month earlier, on 18 March 2023, Putin signed an illegal federal ‘law’, effectively denying Ukrainians citizenship of their own country and measures planned to hunt out those continuing to use their Ukrainian citizenship.

See also: Moscow planned the forced deportation of Ukrainians to Russia even before its full-scale invasion

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