More than 400,000 Ukrainians taken to Russia against their will, official says

Associated Press

A Ukrainian official alleged Thursday that 402,000 Ukrainians have been taken into Russia against their will.

Ukrainian ombudsperson Lyudmyla Denisova said Ukraine fears that some of the civilians, which include 84,000 children, will be used as “hostages” in the monthlong war between the two countries, The Associated Press reported.

Moscow offered a very similar number, but said the civilians had gone to Russia voluntarily, according to the AP.

This comes after the city council of Mariupol, Ukraine, said on Saturday that several thousand of the city’s residents had been forcibly taken into Russia.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said in a statement that older people may be familiar with the unfolding developments in Mariupol, which he likened to events that occurred at the hands of the Nazis.

“What the occupiers are doing today is familiar to the older generation, who saw the horrific events of World War II, when the Nazis forcibly captured people,” Boichenko said, CNN reported. “It is hard to imagine that in the 21st century people can be forcibly taken to another country.”

Earlier Thursday the United Nations approved a resolution that places total blame on Russia for the conflict, which began with the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

The “Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine” resolution, which also urged a cease-fire and protection for civilian structures, was supported by 140 countries.

Belarus, Syria, North Korea, Russia and Eritrea opposed the resolution, while 38 countries abstained from voting, including China.

The resolution said that Russia was waging war “on a scale that the international community has not seen in Europe in decades.”

Tags Lyudmyla Denisova Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine

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