Troops ordered women and children on to buses and sent them to ‘filtration camps’, according to witness accounts

Russian forces are sending Ukrainian citizens to “filtration camps” before forcibly relocating them to Russia, according to the accounts of two women who said they were transported to Russian territory from the besieged city of Mariupol last month, reports The Guardian.

“On 15 March, Russian troops stormed into our bomb shelter and ordered all the women and children to get out. It was not a choice,” said one woman who had been hiding with her family in a suburb of Mariupol since early March. “People need to know the truth, that Ukrainians are being moved to Russia, the country that is occupying us.”

Ukrainian officials have accused Russian troops of transporting several thousand Mariupol residents through “filtration camps” and forcibly moving them to Russia through the Russian-controlled republics in eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, has denied these accusations, claiming “such reports are lies”. Russian officials have previously said 420,000 people have been voluntarily evacuated to Russia “from dangerous regions of Ukraine and the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics”.

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