Russian military expert Viktor Baranets confirmed on state TV that Moscow had approved and built a “filtering camp” to receive prisoners of war from across Ukraine. Baranets said he was “pleased” with the capability, as he suggested the camps could also be used to interrogate any internees, suggesting the facilities could be used for other purposes. Moscow reportedly moved hundreds from the Luhansk and Donetsk border regions to Russia, with allegations that Ukrainians were deprived of their documents and were moved thousands of kilometers away.
Speaking to Russia 1, Baranets said: “Anyone who has a gun in their hands.
“Filtering, interrogation and so on, Lady Justice of Donetsk knows how to treat criminals.
“Especially since a site is already prepared for prisoners of war in the Donetsk region.
“I was pleased with the number, which can accept 100,000 prisoners of war. This is normal, the sooner they come the better.”
READ THE LATEST UPDATES ON THE EXPRESS.CO.UK UKRAINE WAR BLOG
Residents of Mariupol reported being “filtered” by the Russian army before being allowed to stay in Ukraine instead of being transported to Russia.
Dmitriy, 31, told DW News that invading forces said they could be “evacuated” across the border, but he and his family managed to stay around the biggest filtering fields.
He said: “Everything went well, maybe because I gave the ‘right’ answers. I heard screams and men asking why Russia had invaded and ruined their homes and lives being insulted.
“In the end, I was given a piece of paper that said I had gone through the filtering process. With it, I could stay in the territory of the so-called ‘People’s Republic of Donetsk’ and enter Russia.
READ MORE: Fire in Russia: Panic as Coal Power Plant Catches Fire – Huge Clouds of Smoke
There have been no face-to-face peace talks since March 29, and the atmosphere has soured over Ukrainian allegations that Russian troops committed atrocities by withdrawing from areas near Kiev. Moscow has denied the allegations.
“We are in favor of continuing the negotiations, although they are difficult,” Lavrov said.
Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” to demilitarize its neighbor and rid it of extreme anti-Russian nationalism fostered by the West. Ukraine and the West say Russia has launched a war of unprovoked aggression.
Ukraine’s Western allies froze about half of Moscow’s state gold and foreign currency reserves and imposed severe restrictions on trade with Russia, crippling its economy and putting it on the brink of sovereign default.