September 7, 2022 Russia-Ukraine News

Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights Ilze Brands Kehris, left, and Chief of the Board, Civic Lustration Committee, Ukraine Oleksandra Drik, right, virtually address the United Nations Security Council in New York on Wednesday, September 7. (David ‘Dee’ Delgado/Reuters)

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has documented cases of “screening”, in which “the Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups subjected people to body searches, sometimes involving the forced nudity, and detailed questioning about the personal background, family ties, political opinions and allegiances of the person concerned,” according to Ilze Brands Kehris, UN Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights.

“They examined personal effects, including mobile devices, and collected personal identity data, photos and fingerprints. In some cases, people awaiting “filtration” spent nights in vehicles or in unequipped and overcrowded premises, sometimes without adequate access to food, water and sanitation. We are particularly concerned that women and girls are at risk of sexual abuse during ‘screening’ procedures,” said Brands Kehris.

The UN OHCHR has also documented cases of men and women “perceived to have ties to Ukrainian armed forces or state institutions, or to hold pro-Ukrainian or anti-Russian views” who been subjected to torture, arbitrary detention and “enforced disappearance”.

They were transferred to penal colonies, including the now infamous penal colony near Olenivka, and remand centers, where they were interrogated and sometimes tortured to extract a so-called “confession” from them of their active cooperation. with the Ukrainian government.

Some detainees were released after one or two months, while others are still being held to this day, with little or no information for their families about their whereabouts and whereabouts,” Brands Kehris said.

More than 6.9 million people remain internally displaced in Ukraine, with most of the newly displaced coming from eastern and southern Ukraine. So far, 5,718 civilians have been killed, including 372 children, and 8,199 injured, including 635 children, during the war, Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding, said on Wednesday. the peace.

DiCarlo added that “these are only verified numbers and the actual numbers are likely much higher.”

Russia denies ‘forced filtration’ claims: Refugees and displaced persons in Russia are receiving medical and financial assistance, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said in his address to the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

He said new arrivals go through “registration” procedures, not “screening”.

It is very unfortunate that human rights groups are making baseless allegations against Russia, Nebenzia said. “We wasted time” discussing this issue rather than the real issues, he said.

Nebenzia described Western concerns as “fantasies” and said no one was stopping people from leaving Russia. Ukraine is evacuating people, even if they are safe in affected areas, he said. “kyiv saboteurs” are attacking areas where people want to leave, the ambassador charged.

“People are fleeing Ukraine, more out of fear of Ukraine,” Nebenzia said.

Christi C. Elwood