Around 31,000 people have been forcibly removed and taken to Russian “filtration camps” in seized eastern Ukraine, according to the leader of the besieged city of Mariupol.
In a Telegram post on Friday, Mayor Vadym Boychenko said he “confirmed” Ukrainians from the southern port town were just being carried “at gunpoint” to prison in Novoazovsk.
This is a Ukrainian southern city 40 kilometers from Mariupol and just seven kilometers from the Russian border.
Novoazovsk is part of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist area in Ukraine’s eastern frontline that has been fighting the Ukrainian army since 2014. It is supported by Russian soldiers.
The Russian State Parliament enacted a measure officially acknowledging the self-proclaimed Donetsk, as well as Luhansk People’s Autonomous regions, just days before the February assault.
This was subsequently signed by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
“Our only chance to ensure peace and security and freedom in our land is to actually win this war. Otherwise, Russia will have concentration camps all over the territory of Ukraine.”
Ukrainian MP Anastasia Radina discusses the continued Russian attacks in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/rTgs2kZW64
— CNN (@CNN) April 9, 2022
Ukrainians have been in the camps for weeks now, according to Boychenko.
“Fingerprints and biometrics are taken as part of the filtration process. They make them sign a variety of different paperwork,” according to a Ukrainian news agency’s interpretation.
Government personnel, according to the mayor, have been treated particularly brutally.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States’ envoy to the United Nations, stated this week she received “reliable reports” that back up the concentration camp allegations.
She noted Ukrainians are being isolated from their relatives and stripped of their papers and identity documents.
In a speech to the United Nations Security Council, she alluded to Nazi death camps. “Every day, we see just how little Russia values human rights,” says one observer.
Over 100,000 people are still believed to be stuck within Mariupol, according to the city council, but evacuation efforts have stopped.
Russian troops are said to have agreed to medical routes, but relief organizations were unable to approach the city, which has been shelled for more than six weeks.
Its Like Stalingrad
In late March, Boychenko stated 90% of all housing developments had been demolished, and huge numbers of people were without drinking water, electricity, or heat.
Satellite images published by @Maxar dated 3/10/22 taken of #Bucha near the Church of St. Andrew clearly shows the mass grave started way before Russia withdrew.
In WWII pictures were taken of concentration camps long before anyone did anything, we must not repeat history! pic.twitter.com/AqFaTpgsKn
— 🇺🇦Skyleigh Heinen🇺🇸 (@Sky_Lee_1) April 4, 2022
According to the city, an estimated 5,000 Mariupol civilians have been slain.
On top of this, accusations have emerged that Russian troops are using a mobile cremation to cover up their suspected war crimes.
“Since the Nazi concentration camps, the world hasn’t seen anything like the horror in Mariupol. Our city was turned into a death camp by Russian occupying forces this week,” Boychenko stated.
“This is the next Auschwitz and Majdanek,” says the narrator.
After failing to conquer Kyiv, the United States, NATO, and Ukraine have each cautioned that Russia is planning a “major attack” in eastern Ukraine.
As Russian soldiers prepare for a harsh battle in the Donbas region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has promised to keep fighting.