Ukrainian citizens forcibly evicted from Donbass to Rostov Oblast in Russia have been on buses without food for nearly two days, Ukrainian human rights spokeswoman Lyudmila Denisova warned on Sunday. Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, said the evacuees had returned home from Russia on their own, according to Ukrainian intelligence, because “no one is feeding them or housing them.”

Reznikov said on the 1+1 TV channel that the “alleged mass deportation of Ukrainian citizens” from the Donbass region, which is not under Kiev’s control, to Russia is a “farce”. According to him, several thousand people were taken “to attend the show”.

He added that Ukrainian intelligence has data on the fact that people return home from there on their own, because “nobody feeds them or houses them there.” He saw the “evacuation” as having propaganda purposes.

“Women with children and the elderly have been without food or sleeping in unheated buses for about two days, and the temporary accommodations where they were to be accommodated are closed,” the Ukrainian human rights spokeswoman says.

According to her, the Russian authorities do not guarantee evacuees a place to live, warm food or medical services. Denisoa stressed that this is a violation of the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in War.

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It added that some of the evacuees were deployed to a gym in the city of Taganrog.

Denisova asked her Russian counterpart to ensure proper conditions for Ukrainian citizens in Russia and help them.

Separatists demanded that civilians withdraw to Russia

He also called on the international community to respond immediately to the facts of Russia’s violation of the above-mentioned agreement.

Leaders of Russia-backed separatists in Donbass on Friday announced calls for civilians to be evacuated from their areas to Russia, citing an alleged Ukrainian attack in Donbass. The Ukrainian military denies it was carrying out and planning any violent actions.

“Once again, we announce that Ukraine is not planning any offensive actions in the Donbass,” the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valery Zalogny, emphasized. He warned that hostile forces could use the evacuation as a provocation.

msl / PAP

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