Russia tactics: Forced deportations and slave labour – what is happening in Mariupol?

Ukraine: Mariupol locals 'being deported violently' says Berg

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City authorities have said more than 80 percent of its infrastructure is damaged or destroyed, with much of it beyond repair. It is estimated some 100,000 to 200,000 people are still trapped within the city, unable to escape due to the Russian forces surrounding it.

There is now been no heating, fresh water, and electricity, and civilian deaths are mounting.

Local authorities have said at least 2,300 people have died, some of whom had to be buried in mass graves.

Ukrainian forces have held off the Russians, but time appears to be running out for the besieged city, with experts believing Mariupol could fall to the aggressor at any moment.

Now, it has emerged that Ukranians are being forcefully removed from the city and sent to Russian occupied areas and Russia itself against their will.

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What is happening to people in Mariupol?

Worrying reports of citizens being forcefully removed from the city have emerged, which have been backed by Ukrainian and US authorities.

Ukrainian authorities have said least 40,000 people have been moved from the besieged city to Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine and to Russia itself.

These people were reportedly interrogated and had their passports removed, and have been forced to sign documents saying they will stay in the area and work for free, making them slaves to the Russian state.

Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun said: “So what we know from the city’s mayor and the city council, is they [the Russians] are taking Ukrainian citizens.

“They are sending them through what are called the ‘filtration camps’ and then they are being relocated to very distant parts of Russia.

“They are forced to sign papers saying that they will stay in that area for two to three years and they will work for free in those areas.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, America’s ambassador to the UN, said the US had not yet confirmed the allegations, made on Saturday by Mariupol city council and repeated in detail on Sunday by Ukraine’s human rights spokesperson, Lyudmyla Denisova.

She said: “I’ve only heard it. I can’t confirm it. But I can say it is disturbing. It is unconscionable for Russia to force Ukrainian citizens into Russia and put them in what will basically be concentration and prisoner camps.”

Ms Denisova said: “Several thousand Mariupol residents have been deported to Russia.”

She claimed they have been moved to “filtration camps”, and some had been moved to cities in Russia.

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Russia claim’s any Ukrainians that have been moved, forcibly or not, are “refugees”.

Additionally, Russia has been accused of kidnapping 2,389 Ukrainian children, a move that was likened to Nazi Germany by Ukrainian officials.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry accused the Kremlin of ‘illegally deporting’ the children from the country’s eastern region into Russia.

Liz Truss said this week: “I am appalled by Russian atrocities in Mariupol, including attacks on schools sheltering civilians and the abduction and deportation of Ukrainians.

“Putin is resorting to desperate measures as he is not achieving his objectives. Putin and his regime will be held to account.”

Boris Johnson held another call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday night, during which a Number 10 statement said the leaders “condemned the abhorrent attacks on innocent civilians, following the appalling bombings in Mariupol.”

Mr Johnson said he would “advance Ukraine’s interests at this week’s NATO and G7 meetings” in Brussels on Thursday.

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