MainNews -

US Ambassador to UN on filtering Ukrainians: russia to deny, but perpetrators of these atrocities must be punished

During July, over 1,800 children were transferred from the occupied regions of Ukraine to russia.

US Ambassador to UN on filtering Ukrainians: russia to deny, but perpetrators of these atrocities must be punished
Photo: ЕРА/UPG

Russia will deny the filtration, but there’s a simple way to know if any of this is true - give the independent observers access - U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a UN Security Council Meeting on russia’s Filtration Operations said.

According to the USA, more than 1,800 children were transferred from russian-controlled areas of Ukraine to russia during July alone.

“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. Of course, I need not remind this Council that the forcible transfer or deportation of protected persons from occupied territories, to the territory of the occupier, is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians, and constitutes a war crime - Thomas-Greenfield noted.

She added that it is important to consider the fate of those who do not pass filtration. “The evidence is growing every day that thousands of Ukrainians deemed threatening due to their potential affiliation with the Ukrainian army, territorial defense forces, media, government, and civil society groups are reportedly being detained or simply disappearing,” the ambassador said.

 “So why are they doing this? Why are they confiscating Ukrainian identity documents? Why are they forcing Ukrainians to fill out russian passport applications? Why are they intimidating locals and deporting anyone deemed threatening? Why are they systematically cataloguing Ukrainians moving through the system? Why is russia appointing officials in occupied areas, imposing its educational curriculum in schools, and trying to get Ukrainian citizens to apply for russian passports? Why are russian forces and proxies doing their best to erase the living memory of Ukraine? The reason is simple: to prepare for an attempted annexation,” she added.

All this is the basis for sham referenda. It is part of the russian playbook for Ukraine that the USA has been warning Council members about since even the beginning of the war, the American emphasized.

These referenda will attempt to create a false semblance of legality and public support, so russia feels it can annex Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, and other regions of Ukraine. Of course, we will never recognize any efforts by russia to change Ukraine’s borders by force. We must hold the perpetrators of these atrocities to account. We must respond as an international community – an international community that still respects the UN Charter, - the speech states.

According to Thomas-Greenfield everybody knows what answer russia will give – “They will deny, deny, deny”. “But there’s a simple way to know if any of this is true. Let the United Nations in. Give the independent observers access. Give NGOs access. Allow humanitarian access. Let the world see what is going on,” she stressed.

“As Security Council members, we are here to promote international peace and security and uphold the UN Charter. At a minimum, I hope each of us here today acknowledges that all persons subject to filtration need access to UN and humanitarian agencies as soon as possible, so that we can verify their well-being as we heard today from OHCHR. Until russia provides that access, we will have to rely on the evidence we have accumulated and the brave testimony of survivors. The picture they paint, alongside the mounting reports, is chilling. Colleagues, there will come a day when we are gathered in this Council to condemn the russian Federation’s attempts to annex more of Ukraine’s territory. And I will ask that you remember what you’ve heard here today. No one – no one – will be able to say they were not warned,” the ambassador summed up.

Yale Humanitarian Research Lab has published a new report on russia's holding of filtration camps in Ukraine and the forced deportations of protected persons from the country. It documented 21 filtration-related objects in Donetsk region alone.

Read news on social networks Facebook, Twitter and Telegram