Mariupol residents are forcibly being deported into 'filtration camps' inside Russia
The return of the Soviet gulags
Shortly after Russia launched their brutal assault on Ukraine, Russian forces surrounded one of Ukraine’s key cities, Mariupol, and cut the city off from all essentials. A city of over 300,000 has been under siege with no electric, heat (during brutal cold weather), food, and medicine. Russia agreed to opening up humanitarian corridors only to bomb people fleeing. Videos of Russia’s horrific bombings of a maternity hospital and the Drama theatre, housing children and women seeking shelter with the word children written and visible from space, have been verified by global media outlets. Russia’s war crimes continue across Ukraine but what is happening in Mariupol is a humanitarian catastrophe. 80% of residential homes have been damaged or destroyed from Russia’s intentional targeting of civilians. Images of mass graves, with many children, have emerged. “Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth,” Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said in a video addressed to the West.
Russia has also been kidnapping activists and volunteers, including Julia Paevska, who was engaged in helping with evacuations and providing medical care. But the most alarming warning came from Mariupol’s city council via Telegram who reported on the forceful deportation of thousands of residents into ‘filtration camps’ inside Russia, which is very reminiscent of Soviet gulags. The message put out by Mariupol’s city council says the following, “Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents have been deported to Russia. The occupiers illegally removed people from the Left Bank district and shelters in the building of the sports club, where more than a thousand people (mostly women and children) were hiding from the constant bombing). Fighting took place in these areas. To save the lives of Mariupol residents, the Armed Forces of Ukraine retreated from crowded places, which was used by the aggressor. It is known that the captured Mariupol residents were taken to filtration camps, where the occupiers checked people's phones and documents. After the inspection, some Mariupol residents were redirected to remote cities in Russia, the fate of others remains unknown.”
Mariupol’s Mayor Vadym Boychenko said this in a statement, “What the occupiers are doing today is familiar to the older generation, who saw the horrific events of World War II, when the Nazis forcibly captured people. It is difficult to imagine that in the 21st century people will be forcibly deported to another country. Not only are Russian troops destroying our peaceful Mariupol, they have gone even further and started deporting Mariupol residents. All war crimes on the part of Russia must get the most severe punishment.”
The world must do more to protect Ukrainians being slaughtered by Russian forces. Russia is intentionally killing mass Ukrainians and forcing many others to flee from their land in their ‘denazification’ (war crimes) campaign. Innocent women, children, and the elderly are Russia’s target.