Fake: Millions of Russian Citizens in Ukraine to Be Interned

On May 12, Sputniknews falsely reported that a bill has come into effect in Ukraine that could send “millions of Russian citizens” in the country to special internment camps.

“If the bill is approved, millions of Russian citizens residing in Ukraine will be interned in special camps as war prisoners,” the article states. According to Sputniknews, the bill “provides for the compulsory internment in special camps of foreign nationals residing in Ukraine who pose a threat to its security.”

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In fact, according to bill №2541, the procedure for the internment of foreign citizens is not so simple. It is detailed in Paragraph 23 of Article 8 about measures for the implementation of martial law.

“1. In Ukraine or certain areas of Ukraine, where martial law is instituted, the military command together with the military administration (if it is formed), have the right to take and implement the following actions of the legal regime of the martial law within the temporary restrictions of the constitutional civil rights and liberties and the rights and legal interests of legal entities, provided by the Decree of the President of Ukraine on imposing the martial law, together with executive bodies, the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and the local self- administration bodies or independently: …23) to intern (to settle forcibly) citizens of a foreign state who threaten with an attack or carry out aggression against Ukraine.”

Kyiv lawyer Denys Sosnin commented to StopFake on the special aspects of implementing internment.

First, only citizens of the Russian Federation can be interned, and there are not millions of them in Ukraine. It should be pointed out that as of December 31, 2014, the migration service recorded 252,000 migrating people and 75,000 foreign citizens in Ukraine (not all of them Russian).

Second, martial law would need to be imposed as a prerequisite for implementing internment.

Third, the decision to intern is taken by the military command together with the military administration or the corresponding authorities.

Sputniknews badly distorted the law in its account by not giving proper context and by falsifying the number of Russian citizens in Ukraine.