Russia is massively deporting Ukrainian citizens from the occupied territories. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine calls on all forcibly deported Ukrainians to report their data to the nearest Ukrainian embassy.

“We recommend that compatriots, who have fallen victim to such illegal actions of the Russian regime and wish to return to Ukraine, report their data to the nearest Ukrainian embassy in neighbouring countries or countries of possible transit,” the Ministry said in its statement.

The diplomatic missions of Ukraine are instructed to provide the necessary advisory and consular assistance to the above-mentioned category of citizens to ensure their return to Ukraine.

One day earlier, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk said that the number of Ukrainians forcibly taken from the war zone and the temporarily occupied territories could reach 40,000 people. They are being taken out in an unknown direction along quasi-humanitarian corridors created by the occupiers themselves without the consent of Ukraine.

“Russian ‘corridors’ are illegal, not agreed with us. Especially since on the other side – both near Donetsk and Luhansk – forcedly displaced persons are taken through special filtration camps, in violation of the Geneva Convention. But for some reason, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) even decided to open a representative office in Rostov-on-Don to work with Ukrainians deported to Russia by force. Therefore, we demand that it [the ICRC] facilitate the return of such our citizens,” Vereshchuk stressed.

She added that people from the occupied part of Kyiv region were being deported to Belarus. Civilians from Mariupol are forcibly taken to the territory of occupied Donetsk. They are deprived of their passports and any other identity documents.

As the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine previously informed, the Russians transfer forcibly deported Ukrainians to economically depressed areas of Russia. Citizens of Ukraine are offered official employment through employment centres in a number of northern regions of Russia. Those who agree are issued documents banning them from leaving the Russian regions for two years.

Bohdan Marusyak

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