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Tags: russia | ukraine | concentration camps | pow | money

Reports of Russian Concentration Camps, Demands for Money

a mural depicting a russian soldier and a z letter
A mural depicting a Russian soldier and a Z letter - a tactical insignia of Russian troops in Ukraine, in Sevastopol, Crimea, on April 23. (Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 April 2022 09:36 AM EDT

Russia has created concentration camps to house Ukrainian prisoners of war, it was reported.

Gulagu.net, a Russian website that exposes corruption and the torture and rape of prisoners, used the messaging app Telegram to report that Russian special services have organized concentration camps in the buildings of the institutions of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia.

There also were reports of Russian military members demanding money in exchange for the life of a Ukrainian prisoner.

The reports came two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin began his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The Gulagu.net report said concentration camps held prisoners in inhuman conditions without providing individual beds, and added that 15 people held at a Moscow detention center were in a cell with 10 beds.

"[Detention centers] are actually concentration camps for prisoners of war and are filled with Ukrainian soldiers captured on the battlefield," Gulagu.net reported.

"Prisoners of war are handled by employees of the Federal Penitentiary Service, the FSB, the National Guard and secret agents from among convicted activists, many of whom were transferred from torture correctional colonies and pre-trial detention centers." 

Another message on Telegram described a camp in the Kharkiv region.

"The Russian military took one of the production facilities of Volchansk, Kharkiv region, to Russia, and set up a concentration camp and a prison on its territory, where prisoners are tortured," the message said.

"The head of the Kharkiv OVA [military administration] Sinegubov: 'People are forced to cooperate and join the ranks of the armed forces of the Russian Federation by torture.'"

A man and woman who recently escaped from Mariupol told the BBC that they personally witnessed a so-called Russian "filtration camp."

"It was like a true concentration camp," a 49-year-old man named Oleksandr told the BBC.

Ukrainian officials have compared the camps to those used during Russia's war in Chechnya, where thousands of Chechens were interrogated brutally and many disappeared, the BBC said.

A woman named Olena told the BBC that elderly people in the camp slept in corridors without mattresses or blankets, and there was only one toilet and one sink for thousands of people.

"There was no way to wash or clean," she says. "It smelt extremely awful."

The Telegram messaging app included a post saying that, "The sum of 5,000 euros is demanded by the Russian military for the life of a Ukrainian prisoner."

A video reportedly was sent to the mother of a Ukrainian prisoner by Russian soldiers demanding 5,000 euros by Monday, otherwise she would receive a video showing the execution of her son.

"The Russian military is becoming more and more like ISIS militants. Russia should be recognized as a terrorist," the post said.

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Russia has created concentration camps to house Ukrainian prisoners of war, it was reported.
russia, ukraine, concentration camps, pow, money
Tuesday, 26 April 2022 09:36 AM
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