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Mariupol warns that Russia is preparing to shut down the city to ‘screen’ all men for forced service, labor


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The Mariupol city mayor’s adviser warned on Saturday that Russian troops are preparing to shut down the city by April 18 and will “screen” all men for forced service, labor or “isolation”.

“Occupiers report that on Monday, they will not only permanently close all entrances and exits to the city for everyone, but they will institute a traffic ban in all neighborhoods for a week. During this time, 100% of the male population remaining part of the city will be ‘filtered’,” Petro Andriushchenko said in a Telegram post translated by Ukrainian media outlet Ukrayinska Pravda.

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“Some people will be mobilized into the Russian occupation corps, some will be forcibly deployed to clear the rubble, and those classified as unreliable will be isolated,” he added, noting that those who will be deported will be taken to a camp in Novoazovsk.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said last week that around 31,000 residents had been forcibly evicted and sent to Russian “filtration camps” in Novoazovsk – a Ukrainian border town 35 miles from Mariupol and just 9 miles from the Russian border.

Novoazovsk is located in the Donetsk People’s Republic, a breakaway region on Ukraine’s easternmost front, backed by Russian forces and engaged in armed conflict with the Ukrainian military since 2014.

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Defense officials have warned that Russia plans to use all its available forces in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine after failing to take the capital, kyiv, after more than a month of fights.

All Russian ground forces are believed to be in eastern Ukraine and Andriushchenko said Russian troops have already started the “filtration process” in the region.

The Mariupol councilor said the men are taken to filtration camps where they are interrogated, their mobile devices searched and subject to physical examination.

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Andriushchenko allegedly claimed that 5-10% of men do not “pass” the screening process and are then sent to other areas of the Donetsk region, but it is unclear what happens to these individuals next.

Ukrainian officials have sounded the alarm that residents of eastern Ukraine have also been forcibly deported to Russia.

Ukrainian human rights ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova – who is investigating allegations of human rights abuses – said she had received reports from worried Russians that some 400 Ukrainians were being held in a fenced camp near the town of Penza, reported the British newspaper i News.

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The camp, believed to house more than 145 children, is a former Russian military base 960km from the Ukrainian border and was reportedly used as an ammunition depot for Soviet chemical bombs after World War II.


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