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Moscow Forcibly Taking Thousands Of Civilians To Russia, May Use Them As ‘Hostages’ To Pressure Kyiv: Ukraine

Ukraine on Thursday accused Moscow of forcibly taking thousands of civilians from the war-torn country to Russia.

Published: March 24, 2022 11:55 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

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More than 3.3 million refugees have now fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, the United Nations said on March 19, 2022, while nearly 6.5 million are thought to be internally displaced within the country.(AFP photo)

New Delhi: Ukraine on Thursday accused Moscow of forcibly taking thousands of civillians from the war-torn country to Russia. Ukraine said Moscow may use some of the civilians being taken against their will to Russia as “hostages” to pressure Kyiv to give up. “Around 402,000 people, including 84,000 children, have been taken against their will to Russia,” Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s ombudsperson, was quoted as saying news agency The Associated Press.

Kremlin, however, said that the people relocated from Ukraine wanted to go to Russia. The country’s rebel-controlled eastern regions, for example, are predominantly Russian-speaking, and many people there have supported close ties to Moscow.

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Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky urged people worldwide to gather in public to show support for his embattled country. “Come to your squares, your streets. Make yourselves visible and heard. Say that people matter. Freedom matters. Peace matters. Ukraine matters,” Zelenskyy said in an emotional video address.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also called on NATO to provide “effective and unrestricted” support to Ukraine, including any weapons the country needs to fend off the Russian invasion.

One month into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fire rained down on a shopping mall and high-rise buildings in Kyiv, as the outnumbered Ukrainian military waged intense battles to defend the capital and other key cities from falling under Russian control.

(With inputs from AP)

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