(TargetLiberty.org) – In a chilling echo of the Stalinist period, reports coming out of Russia now suggest President Vladimir Putin wants to “resettle” thousands of Ukrainians to some of Russia’s bleakest, most remote areas. Since March, the Ukrainian government has claimed Russian forces are forcibly transporting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens to Russia. As early as March 25, a Ukrainian official said 402,000 people had been relocated. Russia didn’t deny it, and claimed the people wanted to move.
The Kremlin plans to send 100,000 Ukrainians to Siberia and the Arctic Circle, report says, as Zelenskyy warns of 'filtration camps' for captured people https://t.co/l49MXuUWCt
— Military and Defense Insider (@MilDefInsider) April 12, 2022
Now there’s evidence Russia is lying. On April 15, Russian media reported Ukrainians in Astrakhan, a region in southern Russia, claim they were forcibly relocated from the besieged city of Mariupol, where Russian and Ukrainian forces have been fighting since early in the war. The Ukrainians asked for anonymity to protect relatives still in Ukraine.
Ukrainians in Russia say they were processed at “filtration camps,” where they were interrogated, fingerprinted, and forced to hand over phones and other electronics before being transported deep into Russia – including to Siberia or areas above the Arctic Circle. One woman said the journey was “very traumatic.”
Russia has used mass relocation as a weapon before. Under dictator Joseph Stalin – whom Putin admires – nearly two million people were forcibly moved between Soviet republics. Crimean Tatars, Chechens and others were uprooted and relocated against their will, often thousands of miles, in an effort to destroy nationalist movements.
Is Putin using the same brutal tactics to erase Ukraine as a nation by scattering its people across Russia’s vast area?
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