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Fugitives from Mariupol about Russian filtration camps


The southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has been under siege for weeks that, completely under Russian control. People who managed to escape from the city say that the situation in the camp where they were detained before the evacuation was very bad.

Oleksandr and Olena is one of the few people who escaped from Mariupol last week. Ukraine With the exception of the territory of the Azovstal steel plant, where the military is located, it can be said that Mariupol that, completely under Russian control and virtually isolated from the outside world.

Estimates according toin the city 100 thousand people left. Little is known about their living conditions and it is difficult to determine this independently.

The couple, who arrived in the relatively safe city of Lvov in western Ukraine, survived the continuous bombardment of Mariupol. What happened to them in the “filtration camp” set up by Russia just outside the city to detain civilians is spitting.

Oleksandr and Olena was taken to a refugee center in the old school building in the village of Nikolske, northwest of Mariupol.

“The camp was like a real concentration camp,” said Oleksandr, 49.

There, they took fingerprints of both him and his wife, and took photos from all sides and They were interrogated for several hours “like in prison.” Earlier Oleksandr and Olena feared that the Russian military would check everything related to Ukraine on their phones, including their daughters Ukraine They deleted the photos in the background of the flag.

The estimates turned out to be correct.

Oleksandr says that, its journalists, government officials and or pictures on your phone to find out if they have anything to do with the military and investigated the numbers:

If someone is suspected of being a “Ukrainian Nazi,” they are more likely to be questioned. and They are being taken to Donetsk to open a criminal case. “

“The situation is very dangerous and was risky. To the slightest doubt and or protest according to interrogation and they were put in the basement for torture. Everyone was afraid of being taken to Donetsk. “

Russia President Vladimir Putin he says that, One of the reasons for the attack on Ukraine is to rid the country of Nazis. Russia The propaganda makes a number of unsubstantiated allegations in order to somehow link Ukraine to Nazism.

Oleksandr in the camp and Someone offered to help Olena escape. However, the couple feared that those who said this would be colluding with the Russians.

Finally, their names were added to the evacuation list. But the problems are not over.

Buses to Russia

Olen says that, “You can’t even imagine how terrible the situation is in the filtration camps,” he said. The old men slept in the corridor, without blankets. For thousands of people, there was only one toilet, one hand and face wash. Soon dysentery began to spread. It was impossible to wash and clean himself. There was a stench everywhere. “

The couple’s soap a day after being brought to the camp and Disinfectants ran out, and a few days later toilet paper and sanitary napkins are also depleted.

After the interrogation, the couple was allowed to take the 148th evacuation bus. But a week later in total 20 the bus remained. There were also buses to Russia, as well as a large number. Officials at the camp Olena and Alexander went east carThey also tried to put him on board. She according to In the first days, the couple had to ask for help from someone who offered them help to escape.

“There is no other choice. Either forcibly taken to Russia, or to people who offer their own cars trust make. Most of the buses Ukraine goes to Russia instead. After the war began, they did not allow the evacuation of civilians. We can take this as an order to kill civilians, “Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boychenko told the BBC.

Olena speaks that, Russia As they did not have the necessary documents to present to the military, the driver took them to the Russian-controlled city of Berdyansk on dirt roads and narrow roads behind checkpoints.

The couple then tried to contact another driver who was willing to take risks to cross into Ukrainian-controlled areas. and spent three days on it. Then Olena and Alexander passed through 12 checkpoints of the Russian military and went to Zaporozhye, and then by night train to Lviv.

Valentina was among those who went to the city that day and There was also Eugene. They also managed to escape from Mariupol last week. The couple planned to drive to a small town in western Ukraine.

Says 58-year-old Valentina that, perhaps to their age and to her husband’s physical defect according to It didn’t take long for them to be checked in the filtration camp, but the situation of the young people there is very bad:

“The filtration camp is like a ghetto. The Russian military divides people into groups. Those who suspect that he is connected with the Ukrainian army, defend his country, journalists and civil servants are in a dangerous group. These people are taken to prisons in Donetsk and they are tortured there. “

According to the couple according tomost of those detained in filtration camps are sent to Russia.

Olena and Like Oleksandr, they emphasize that they were able to escape thanks to their drivers.

“Ukrainian servicemen and Everyone on the bus started crying when they saw the Ukrainian flag and heard that it was spoken in Ukrainian, ”Valentina said.

Living under siege

Before fleeing, these people lived under siege in Mariupol for weeks.

Russian forces bombed the city and took to the streets. Details of what happened there Valentina, Oleksandr and People who managed to escape from Mariupol like Olena became known to the press.

The vast majority of the population has drinking water and suffered from food shortages. Oleksandr and Olena took refuge in the basement of a restaurant and they survived thanks to the canned food there.

But there was no drinking water. Oleksandr describes how he ran to the wells outside to collect water:

“It was very dangerous, because the Russians were constantly firing,” he said. The water of the boiler saved us. When we came out of the basement to evacuate, the water in our pot ran out. ”

Valentina and They talk about the difficulty of finding food for Eugene; they say that, people lived on their pre-war supplies – a few potatoes, cereals, and canned food grown in their gardens; they also shared what they had with their neighbors.

They did not go to fetch water from the well because it was dangerous. Snow They rejoiced when it rained, melted it and turned it into water.

Valentina hates the Chechen military.

To the data according tothey have been fighting in Ukraine since the beginning of the war and They were closely involved in the siege of Mariupol.

Valentina is a Chechen warrior woman and accuses of raping children:

“Dozens of girls who don’t want to have sex with them and killed women. I am amazed that people can be so wild. They have no humanity, no mercy. “

Valentina and Yevgeny is said to have survived because he was hiding in shelters in the northern part of the city. But in one of the bombings, that area was also destroyed. Yevgeny suffered a concussion, which caused him to have a hearing problem. The couple’s neighbor was also seriously injured that day.

They remained in various shelters until they decided to flee. When they left the city, they saw the ruins of the Russian bombing.

“I saw completely destroyed, burned-out buildings,” he said. I saw many bodies. The city no longer exists, not even the walls. It has become a huge ruin. I could not imagine this scale of violence, “said Valentina.

Both couples resisted in Ukraine after the Russian attack and managed to escape from Mariupol, which became a symbol of his suffering. They are just four of the 11 million Ukrainians displaced by the conflict and they now face an uncertain future. (BBC)

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