Hundreds Of Ukrainians Subject To Deportation From Russia Languish In Detention Centers – OpEd


So many people have suffered because of Vladimir Putin’s aggressive war against Ukraine, but one group of Ukrainians that has as well often is not listed among them. It consists of those Ukrainian citizens n Russia who are subject to deportation and are being kept in Russian detention centers.

According to the Moscow Helsinki Group, “hundreds” of Ukrainian citizens are in such centers, and at least some of them have been there for months, including a few long before the February 24 Russian invasion and the break in diplomatic relations between Moscow and Kyiv that has prevented their direct return (

Russian rights activists say the Russian detention centers are Dickensian with poor food and conditions and without adequate medical care, television, or telephones the inmates can use to contact their families in Ukraine. Many of the Ukrainians confined there have been cut off from the world for months and do not know whether their families are still alive.

Under international law, a country can hold for deportation those who violate its laws but it can’t deport anyone unless officials in a second country are prepared to take them in, Given the break in diplomatic ties between Russia and Ukraine, Moscow can’t send them there as it is impossible to get tickets for transportation back to Ukraine.

A very small number of Ukrainians who find themselves in this position have been able to leave because Turkey has offered to take them in, although most don’t remain in Turkey but move onward to European countries. Unless other countries offer to take these unfortunate people in, many Ukrainians are likely to remain behind bars in Russia for the foreseeable future.

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