US decries ‘disturbing’ accounts of Ukrainians deported to Russia

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The US ambassador to the United Nations says it would beryllium ‘unconscionable for Russia to unit Ukrainian citizens into Russia’.

Published On 20 Mar 2022

Accounts that thousands of residents of Ukraine’s besieged larboard metropolis of Mariupol person been forcibly deported to Russia are “disturbing” and “unconscionable” if true, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said.

Speaking connected CNN’s “State of the Union” connected Sunday, Thomas-Greenfield said the United States had not yet confirmed the allegations made connected Saturday by the Mariupol metropolis assembly via its Telegram channel.

“I’ve lone heard it. I can’t corroborate it,” she said. “But I tin accidental it is disturbing. It is unconscionable for Russia to unit Ukrainian citizens into Russia and enactment them successful what volition fundamentally beryllium attraction and captive camps.”

Russia launched a large-scale penetration of Ukraine connected February 24, igniting a struggle that has led to much than 900 civilian deaths and astir 1,500 injuries arsenic of March 19, according to the UN quality rights office.

A antheral   carries his belongings past   a Russian tankMariupol, connected the Black Sea, has been encircled and bombarded by Russian forces for much than 2 weeks [Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters]

Mariupol, a cardinal transportation to the Black Sea, has been a target since the commencement of the war, which Russian President Vladimir Putin calls a “special subject operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine. Kyiv and the West accidental Putin launched an unprovoked warfare of aggression.

The Mariupol metropolis assembly besides said Russian forces bombed an creation school connected Saturday successful which 400 residents had taken shelter, but the fig of casualties was not yet known.

The Reuters quality bureau could not independently verify the reports by the metropolis council. The Russian Embassy successful Washington did not respond to a petition for comment, but Russia denies targeting civilians.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called connected Saturday for broad bid talks with Moscow.

The US supports those attempts, Thomas-Greenfield said connected Sunday, adding that the negotiations “seem to beryllium one-sided”, with small effect from Russia.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) volition clasp an exigency gathering connected Thursday to sermon the struggle and the effect of the 30-member alliance.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-GreenfieldThomas-Greenfield reiterated US President Joe Biden’s committedness to refrain from sending US troops into Ukraine [File: Carlo Allegri/Reuters]

Poland volition formally taxable a connection for a peace-keeping ngo successful Ukraine astatine the meeting, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said past week.

When asked astir the Polish proposal, Thomas-Greenfield reiterated President Joe Biden’s committedness to refrain from sending US troops into Ukraine.

“Other NATO countries whitethorn determine that they privation to enactment troops wrong of Ukraine,” she said. “That volition beryllium a determination that they person to make.”

‘Trying to bash everything we can’

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, speaking connected CNN aboriginal connected Sunday, said she would property NATO to fortify its subject capabilities successful Eastern Europe and impulse each subordinate countries to give astatine slightest 2 percent of their gross home merchandise to defence.

Kallas said the allegations of Ukrainians deported to Russia were reminiscent of thousands of Estonians sent to Siberian labour camps successful the 1940s.

“Right present we are successful a antithetic position, due to the fact that we are NATO allies,” she said. “But we are trying to bash everything we tin to enactment and assistance Ukraine to combat this war.”

Turkey is besides attempting to mediate a ceasefire successful Ukraine, which NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg praised during an interrogation connected Sunday connected NBC’s “Meet the Press”.

“Turkey is doing immoderate existent effort to effort to facilitate, enactment talks betwixt Russia and Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. “It’s acold excessively aboriginal to accidental whether these talks tin pb to immoderate factual outcome.”

Earlier this month, NATO rejected Ukrainian calls to acceptable up a “no-fly zone” implicit Ukraine to assistance it support its skies from Russian missiles and warplanes.

When asked connected Sunday whether a no-fly portion would beryllium considered if Russia utilized chemic weapons successful Ukraine, Stoltenberg raised concerns that specified a measurement could escalate the conflict.

“Our allies enactment Ukraine,” helium said. “But astatine the aforesaid clip it is highly important we forestall this struggle from becoming a full-fledged warfare betwixt NATO and Russia that volition origin overmuch much damage, overmuch much death, demolition than what we are seeing present successful Ukraine.”

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