US Blasts Moscow for ‘Forced Deportations’ of Ukrainians to Russia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia Wednesday of forcibly deporting as much as 1.6 million Ukrainians to Russia, accusing Moscow of a deliberate prison operation to depopulate components of Ukraine.

In a press release a day earlier than the Ukraine Accountability Conference within the Hague on alleged conflict crimes in Ukraine, Blinken stated Moscow is conducting a “filtration” operation to relocate Ukrainians from the occupied east and south to areas deep inside Russia.

“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,” Blinken stated.

He stated that estimates from sources together with the Russian authorities itself point out that from 900,000 to 1.6 million Ukrainian residents have been taken from their properties into Russia, together with to remoted areas within the Russian Far East.

The quantity consists of some 260,000 kids, a few of whom are being intentionally separated from dad and mom to be put up for adoption in Russia, Blinken stated.

He stated the filtration program seems to have been deliberate early and matches related operations that Russia undertook in different wars, together with in Chechnya.

“President Putin’s ‘filtration’ operations are separating households, confiscating Ukrainian passports, and issuing Russian passports in an obvious effort to vary the demographic make-up of components of Ukraine,” he stated.

Blinken stated it’s “imperative” to carry the Russians accountable.

“This is why we are supporting Ukrainian and international authorities’ efforts to collect, document, and preserve evidence of atrocities,” he stated.

The one-day Ukraine Accountability Conference on Thursday is being hosted by Netherlands Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra, International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan, and EU Commissioner Didier Reynders.

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