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Tags: marco rubio | tim kaine | russia | joe biden | vladimir putin | ukrainians | human rights

Sens. Rubio, Kaine Urge Biden to Probe Russia's 'Filtration Camps'

marco rubio speaks into a microphone
Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on May 17. (Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 25 August 2022 08:41 AM EDT

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., are calling on President Joe Biden to hold Russia's President Vladimir Putin accountable for human rights violations against Ukrainians.

Their remarks came in a letter dated Wednesday to Biden.

"We write to urge you to increase the United States' efforts to hold accountable and investigate individuals of the Russian Federation involved in the practice of establishing 'filtration camps' in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine," they wrote.

"The U.S. State Department's recent announcement indicates the formation of an Atrocity Crime Advisory Group with the United Kingdom and European Union to investigate war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. This effort should include investigations of filtration camps in order to determine if such camps have evidence of crimes against humanity or genocide.

"Despite their sanitized, euphemistic name, these camps have similarities with earlier Soviet efforts at destroying non-Russian ethnicities. Public reporting suggests that these camps are the earliest indications of coordinated, state-directed atrocities against the Ukrainian people."

The two senators said that those who have escaped from those camps "describe ghetto-like conditions where Russian authorities seek to identify individuals with ties to the Ukrainian military, journalists, or civil society – including even searching for tattoos that indicate sympathy for Ukrainian nationhood."

They point out that reports indicate as many as 400,000 Ukrainians have been processed by the camps through forced deportations. According to Rubio and Kaine, those reports say Ukrainians have been tortured and forced to provide support for the Russian military occupying their own county.

"If the history of Russia's use of filtration camps in Chechnya is any indication, it is possible that many of these individuals face the prospect of mass violations of their human rights," the senators continued.

"Russia's expulsion of international media, as well as the criminalization of local independent media, has undoubtedly led to an atmosphere of impunity for the Russian forces tasked with organizing these camps. It is imperative that the United States, and our international partners, are vigilant in monitoring illegal Russian actions."

In May, the State Department announced that the U.S., the European Union, and the United Kingdom had established the Atrocity Crime Advisory Group aimed at further accountability for atrocity crimes "in the context of Russia's ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine."

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Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., are calling on President Joe Biden to hold Russia's President Vladimir Putin accountable for human rights violations against Ukrainians.
marco rubio, tim kaine, russia, joe biden, vladimir putin, ukrainians, human rights, violations
377
2022-41-25
Thursday, 25 August 2022 08:41 AM
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