Internment Camps in Donbass: History Repeats Itself By Alexander Donetsky

15 June 2014 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Ukrainians have a sad date to commemorate in September 2014 – the concentration camps in Terezin and Talerhof were built to isolate the pro-Russian segment of population residing in Austria-Hungarian Galicia. Thousands of Rusyns lost their lives because they had sympathies for Russia and wanted to preserve their historic self-identification. They refused to call themselves Ukrainians as the authorities of Austria – Hungary wanted them to. So they went to the camps. 

The conditions were horrible. The first barracks in Talerhof were built in 1915. The prisoners had no cover to give them shelter from rain. They slept under open sky. The condition for getting freedom was the refusal to say the person belonged to the Rusyn nationality. The wardens were the Galicians who agreed to call themselves the Ukrainians. They were the ones who exterminated the Rusyns. Their crimes are described in Talerhof Almanac published by the prisoners’ committee in the 1920s. 

Ukrainian nationalists faithfully served Germans during the days of the country’s occupation. They hated everything Russian. They were willing to serve as chasteners and guards in numerous concentration camps. 700 thousand Red Army soldiers became prisoners after the Soviet troops were encircled near Kiev. Many of them were ethnic Ukrainians. There were two concentration camps near Brovary in the vicinity of Kiev. The prisoners were regularly shot near the village of Bykovnya. According to local dwellers, the executioners were Hitlerites as well as Ukrainian policemen. M. Skuratiuk, a member of local council, told Kievskij Vestnik there were 1200 Ukrainian policemen out of 1500 chasteners in Babi Yar, it means only 300 of them were Germans. Few remember that before the mass extermination of Jews the prisoners of Babi Yar were predominantly Ukrainians who were made go through the Syrets «filtration camp». They had fought German fascists along with Russians. In the February of 2014 the Nazi successors and admirers came to power. The US and Germany supported them. A row was sparked in the parliament of the German Republic as Sahra Wagenknecht, a German politician, graduated economist and publicist, took the podium and delivered a speech. She is a member of the Bundestag and a member of the National Committee of the Left Party. The MP accused Angela Merkel of deceiving people presenting the events in Ukraine in different light. She called for exerting pressure on Poroshenko to make him stop the war against his own people. Sahra Wagenknecht said four members of the Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers were involved in cultivating hatred towards Jews and Russians. She meant members of Svoboda political party led by Oleg Tyagnibok that had been called the Socialist-Nationalist Party till 2004. The Ukraine’s Justice Ministry refused to register it under this name. One of the persons she was talking about was Andriy Parubiy, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine appointed after the 2014 Ukrainian coup. Listing just four is not enough. There are cabinet members who hide their views and those who are proud of them. For instance, Sergei Kvit, the Minister of Education, President of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He is the person who ordered to ban the use of Russian language inside the institution. 

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appointed Colonel-General of the State Border Service of Michael Koval as acting Defense Minister. He is the one to make others pale when it comes to the allegiance to Nazi ideals. After Petro Poroshenko was elected President, he went to the parliament to make it aware of the government plans. According to him, all the young people of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, including women, will be held in «filtration camps» and then made go to different regions of Ukraine. According to him, people will get filtrated to check if they had not been connected to terrorists. 

So it is the creation of concentration camps what the Ukrainian government has in its plans for future, the good old days of fascist Germany are back…The population of restive Donbass is around six and a half million people. Many of these people Almanach are going to lose homes and stay in the camps. Then the government will tell them where to live in case they manage to go through the process of filtration and prove they had nothing to do with the anti-Nazi resistance movement. Those who opposed the mass killings of population by Ukrainian regular forces will have to face trial; one can easily guess what it means. 

The contemporary Europe has never known anything comparable – the mass relocation of people living in certain regions. Will the United States and the leading European politicians support the Ukrainian authorities no matter their actions envision responsibility according to article II (c) of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) which was adopted by the United Nations Assembly on 9 December 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260?

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