Children among 1.5 mln Ukrainians taken to Russian camps: Polish intelligence

More than 1.5 million Ukrainians, including thousands of children, have been sent to Russian-organised prisons and filtration camps. Polish intelligence services have managed to identify where they are located, according to Stanisław Żaryn, the spokesman of the Minister-Special Services Coordinator.

In a statement online on Wednesday, the spokesman stated that “the Kremlin has organized a network of prisons and filter camps in which it verifies massively detained Ukrainians.”

FSB decides on Ukrainians’ fate

“During this [the time at the camp], the FSB conducts interrogations, analyses confiscated items, including data carriers, and even combs through social media activity,” Mr Żaryn reported.

So-called filtration camps have been used since the Soviet Union as temporary internment centres to screen individuals taken from occupied territories before releasing them into the wider populations. Recent reports have indicated that many people being held at such camps, set up following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have claimed being beaten, tortured and deprived of sleep and food.

“The Russians check whether the detainees have traces of fights on their bodies, and even what tattoos they have. If someone arouses even a shadow of suspicion, he becomes the object of repression, which may result in death. A terrible fate awaits also those who, after ‘positive verification’, are ordered to fight in the ranks of the aggressor,” Mr Żaryn said.

The spokesman recalled that the system built by Russia operates on a mass scale, and out of more than 1.5 million people including children, those Ukrainians who pass the verification are forcibly sent to Russia, where they often face forced conscription into the Russian army and later on are sent to the front. Those raising “objection”’ to the invaders are subjected to torture, he added.

Intelligence shows that the Russian process of filtering and verifying detained Ukrainians lasts from a few hours to several days.

Russian execution houses

He gave examples of a number of specific locations where Russian execution houses identified by Polish special services are operating – in Donetsk at 56 Aksakov Street, in Dokuchaievsk at 19 Nezalezhnosti Ukrainy Street, in Manhush at 63 Tytov Street, in Novoazovsk at 69 Kommunariv Street and in Starobesheve at 30 Pasha Angelina Street. He also included satellite photos and exact coordinates of these facilities.

Russia wants to break Ukraine’s resistance

The spokesman stressed that actions against the Ukrainian society including mass repressions, arrests, torture, and deportations, have been carried out by Russia since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.

“The purpose of the Russians’ actions is to break the resistance of the Ukrainian defense, break the morale of the society and sow terror. As part of the efforts to destroy the Ukrainian nation, the Kremlin has organised a network of prisons and filter camps in which it verifies massively detained Ukrainians,” he pointed out.

“The involvement of the most important Russian secret service in the repression against Ukrainians shows how much importance the Kremlin attaches to these actions,” Mr Żaryn assessed.

According to the US Department of State Russian authorities have already detained, and forcibly deported “between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, including 260,000 children.”