On Monday, more than 11,500 people, including 1,847 kids, were transferred from Ukraine to Russia without Kyiv’s permission, according to Russia’s defence ministry.
This includes evacuations from Russian-backed regions of Ukraine that have been reunified, the so-called Donetsk or Luhansk People’s Republics. Russia recognized these republics as independent before it launched its February 24th invasion.
Russia claims that the people were evacuated at their request. Ukraine, however, says Moscow has deported thousands of people to Russia in the years since the start of the conflict.
Moscow describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” meant to demilitarize and “denazify its neighbour. The West and Ukraine claim that Russia launched an unprovoked aggression war.
As part of an operation by the United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross coordinated with Russia and Ukraine, the first civilians evacuated from the giant steel plant at Mariupol’s besieged port arrived in Zaporizhzhia.
According to the defence ministry, almost 200,000 children and nearly 1.1 million people were evacuated from Ukraine to Russia since February 24th.