Ukraine says Moscow is forcibly moving civilians to camps in Russia


Ukraine’s foreign ministry said the Russian military had taken 6,000 Mariupol residents to be used as “hostages” to pressure Kyiv.

Members of Japan’s lower house of parliament applaud as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a virtual address to Japanese lawmakers in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Behrooz Mehri/Pool Photo via AP)
The Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine on Thursday accused Moscow of forcibly deporting thousands of civilians from the broken port city of Mariupol to Russia in order to use them as “hostages” to pressure Kyiv.

A month into the invasion, meanwhile, both sides deal with heavy blows, which has turned into a devastating war. Ukraine’s navy said it sank a large landing ship near the port city of Burdiansk that was used to supply the Russian military with armored vehicles. Russia claimed the capture of the eastern city of Izium after fierce fighting.

At an emergency NATO summit in Brussels, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Western allies via video for planes, tanks, rockets, air defense systems and other weapons, saying that his country should “protect our common values”. Used to be.” For several summits in Europe, US President Joe Biden assured that more aid is on the way.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said coalition leaders have agreed to send equipment to help protect Ukraine from chemical attacks. It appears that around the capital, Kyiv and other regions, Ukrainian defenders have fought Moscow’s ground forces to a standoff, raising fears that a frustrated Russian President Vladimir Putin will resort to chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. .

Ukraine’s foreign ministry alleged that the Russian military had taken 6,000 Mariupol residents to the camps against their will. The ministry said Russian troops are confiscating identity documents from an additional 15,000 people in a part of Mariupol under Russian control.

Ukrainian military intelligence said Ukrainian civilians were being sent through a camp in Russian-controlled territory, then through Russia’s southern regions to economically depressed parts of the country.

Some may be sent to the Pacific Ocean island of Sakhalin, Ukrainian intelligence said, and are being offered jobs on condition that they do not leave for two years.

The claims could not be independently verified. Russia has said it is evacuating thousands of civilians of its own accord.

Photos and videos from the aftermath of the naval attack in Bardiansk showed thick plumes of fire and smoke. Russian TV reported earlier this week that the ship that Ukrainians claimed had sunk, Orsk, was the first Russian warship to enter Bardiansk. The report said the port was being used to deliver military equipment to the Russians.

Ukraine claimed that two more ships were damaged and that a 3,000-ton fuel tank was destroyed when the Orsk sank, causing a fire that spread to nearby ammunition supplies.

Signing that Western sanctions had not brought it to its knees, Russia reopened its stock market but allowed only limited trading to prevent a massive sell-off. Foreigners were barred from selling, and traders were prohibited from selling short, or betting prices would fall.

Millions of people in Ukraine have made their way out of the country, some pushed to the limit after trying to stay and cope.

At Central Station in the western city of Lviv, a teenage girl stood at the entrance of an waiting train, a white pet rabbit trembling in her arms. She was on her way to visit her mother and then to Poland or Germany. She was traveling alone in Dnipro leaving behind other family members.

“In the beginning I didn’t want to leave,” she said. “Now I’m afraid for my life.”


Anna reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Associated Press writer Robert Burns in Washington, Urus Karmanau in Lviv and other AP journalists from around the world contributed to this report.

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