After Kiev was accused of forcibly deporting thousands of people, Moscow replied: “They asked.”

After Ukraine accused Russian forces of forcibly deporting thousands of residents to its territory since the Russian military operation began on February 24, Russia has denied the matter entirely.

Today, Tuesday, the Russian defense ministry confirmed, according to Reuters, that more than 11,500 people, including 1,847 children, were removed from Ukrainian territory on Monday alone, without the participation of the Ukrainian authorities, “at their request”.

From Donetsk and Lugansk

He further clarified that this number included evacuations from the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, whose independence had only been recognized by Moscow prior to the start of the military operation, as well as by other regions.

And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced yesterday that half a million Ukrainians “have been forcibly and illegally transferred in Russia o in other places”.

In an interview with Greek state television, he also considered that civilians remaining at the Azovstal steel plant in the southeastern city of Mariupol are afraid to board the evacuation buses because they believe they will be transported. in Russian territory.

Interestingly, the huge Azovstal factory, which used to be considered the last permanent castle in that coastal town, overlooking the Sea of ​​Azov, witnessed the evacuation of many stranded civilians yesterday, with more to be released today, according to reports. the Ukrainian authorities confirmed.

Since the start of the Russian military operation on the territory of its western neighbor, Ukraine has witnessed the flight and displacement of millions of people. In its latest report yesterday, the United Nations estimated that so far over 5.5 million people have fled and thousands have also been internally displaced, while 3,153 people have been killed so far.

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