CNN published a few misleading piece on Friday titled “Russia or die: After weeks under Putin’s bombs, these Ukrainians were given only one way out” about what it described as that country’s so-called “filtration centers” for Ukrainian refugees. The article quotes several people who claim that they were forced to move to that neighboring country against their will. Throughout the process, they were checked for Nazi tattoos and asked various questions to ensure that they aren’t undercover agents or posed any other security threat to Russia. After the authorities determined that they were truly refugees, they were given vouchers for 10,000 rubles, SIM cards, and basic toiletries. Some of these refugees later decided to leave Russia, however, with CNN reporting that they traveled to Estonia.
The innuendo all throughout the piece is that these so-called “filtration centers” are some sort of ominous places that supposedly function as processing points for what’s implied to be Russia’s coerced migration of Ukrainian refugees. The purpose behind these narrative hints is to evoke memories of the Soviet Union’s similar such policy against various ethnic groups, which fuels the US-led Western Mainstream Media’s (MSM) ongoing information warfare campaign against Russia. Unaware readers are misled to think that this country is violating those people’s human rights, perhaps even “kidnapping” them like Kiev has previously alleged. The problem, however, is that none of this is true. The present piece will clarify the purpose behind these “filtration centers” and debunk this latest infowar narrative.
Like all responsible countries that engage in military action should do, Russia is seeing to it that the rights of civilians caught in the crossfire are protected. This obviously includes internally displaced people and those who become refugees by fleeing from their homeland. The Battle of Mariupol has seen the fiercest urban fighting in Europe in decades so it’s little wonder that so many people there were displaced and want to leave. Those who choose to go to Russia are processed in accordance with that country’s sovereign right to ensure that they don’t represent a security threat, ergo the checks that were undertaken at the centers that CNN reported upon but misleadingly described as places of “filtration” in order to hint at some nefarious purpose.
There’s nothing out of the ordinary about being checked for tattoos that could indicate sympathy with or possible membership in banned terrorist organizations like the Neo-Nazi battalions that are fighting the Russian Armed Forces (RAF) in Mariupol. Many Americans might wish that their own government checked the thousands of people who illegally stream across their border in the same way in order to “filter” out members of illegal organizations like drug cartels, human trafficking groups, and terrorists. To Russia’s credit, the state is subsidizing these refugees’ basic needs despite the unprecedented US-led Western sanctions against it by providing vouchers, SIM cards, and basic toiletries like CNN reported. Moreover, these same refugees have complete freedom of movement once inside of Russia.
That’s important to point out since it contradicts the innuendo that they’re victims of “coerced migration” practices. If that was the case, then the people who CNN interviewed wouldn’t have been able to freely leave to Estonia like some of them ultimately did after changing their minds about remaining in Russia. What that outlet is therefore doing amounts to a weaponization of Russia’s truly humanitarian policy of providing aid to Ukrainian refugees by misportraying it as something nefarious when it isn’t anything of the sort but exactly the complete opposite. Moscow is complying with its international legal responsibilities to such people, which requires money, time, logistics, and personnel. These wouldn’t be expended unless Russia truly cared to help those refugees.
The truth about Russia’s “filtration centers” is that they’re actually refugee-processing centers that screen people for security threats prior to giving them basic aid and letting them freely travel throughout the country, which includes the option of leaving if they so choose. Russia isn’t forcing anyone to flee to it and take its taxpayers’ money through the aid that’s provided. It doesn’t make sense that the Kremlin would pursue such an economically counterproductive policy that unnecessarily saps its precious personnel resources and funds, not to mention making it look bad in the eyes of the international community. It’s unclear why the refugees that CNN interviewed ultimately changed their minds about staying in Russia, but it’s obvious that they’re lying about being forced to flee there.
By Andrew Korybko Via https://oneworld.press/?module=articles&action=view&id=2717