English Section

US tells Russia to stop mass deportations of Ukrainians

14.07.2022 11:00
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on Moscow to immediately stop deporting Ukrainian citizens from Russian-held areas in Ukraine. 
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony BlinkenPhoto: EPA/MIKA SAVOLAINEN

Blinken said in statement on Wednesday that the United States "calls on Russia to immediately halt its systematic 'filtration' operations and forced deportations in Russian-controlled and held areas of Ukraine."

He added ahead of the Ukraine Accountability Conference in the Hague, Netherlands, that "the unlawful transfer and deportation of protected persons is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians and is a war crime."

Russia's authorities "must release those detained and allow Ukrainian citizens forcibly removed or coerced into leaving their country the ability to promptly and safely return home," Blinken also said in his statement, which was posted by the US Department of State on its website.

"We call on Russia to provide outside independent observers access to so-called 'filtration' facilities and to forced deportation relocation areas in Russia," the statement added.

Estimates from a variety of sources, including the Russian government, indicate that Russian authorities have interrogated, detained, and forcibly deported between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, including 260,000 children, from their homes to Russia – often to isolated regions in the Far East, according to the US Department of State.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said in mid-May that more than half a million Ukrainians had been forcibly deported to Russia amid Moscow's invasion of their country and tens of thousands were being held in Russian camps.


Source: PAP, state.gov