US accuses Russia of war crime by forcibly deporting Ukrainians

US accuses Russia of war crime by forcibly deporting Ukrainians

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday accused Moscow of committing a war crime by forcibly deporting Ukrainians to Russia and said it had information that Russian officials were overseeing alleged filtering operations.

“These operations are aimed at identifying individuals whom Russia deems insufficiently compliant or compatible with its control,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the UN Security Council.

She said estimates from various sources, including Moscow, indicate authorities “interrogated, detained and forcibly deported” between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainians to Russia after the Russian invasion in late February.

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In July alone, Washington had reports that more than 1,800 children had been transferred from Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine to Russia, Thomas-Greenfield said.

“The forcible transfer or deportation of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the occupier … constitutes a war crime,” she said. “Then why are they doing this? …to prepare for an annexation attempt.

Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia described the council meeting as a waste of time and “a new stage in the disinformation campaign unleashed by Ukraine and its Western backers”.

He said Ukrainians traveling to Russia “go through a registration procedure rather than a screening procedure”.

Nebenzia called for the council to meet again on Thursday to discuss the “real threats to international peace and security caused by foreign states’ shipments of arms and military equipment to Ukraine.”

While Ukraine says the invasion is an imperial-style war to take control of a pro-Western neighbor, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he wants to ensure Russian security and protect Russian speakers, especially in eastern Ukraine, where most of the fighting took place. .

ONE, RED CROSS ACCESS

UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo said the deportation and screening charges were “extremely disturbing” and that such reports must be investigated with the cooperation of the relevant authorities.

She also called for unimpeded access by UN and Red Cross officials to all those detained during the war in Ukraine, adding that this “includes access to places of internment of prisoners of war Ukrainians and civilian detainees” in Russia.

Britain is concerned that “Russia is in fact using deportations and forced displacements to try, by force, to change the demographic composition of parts of Ukraine”, the British ambassador has told UN, Barbara Woodward, to the board.

Senior UN human rights official Ilze Brands Kehris said the UN had “verified that Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups are subjecting civilians to so-called ‘filtration'”.

She also said that UN human rights officials had “documented that men and women perceived to have ties to the Ukrainian armed forces or state institutions, or to hold pro- -Ukrainian or anti-Russian, have been subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, ill-treatment and enforced disappearance.”

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Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Kanishka Singh; edited by Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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