Invaders won’t let Ukrainians out of occupied zone for three days, keeping them as ‘human shields’ – Melitopol

18 December 2022, 08:56 PM
Evacuation column (Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

Evacuation column (Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

The Russians have stopped letting Ukrainian citizens leave the occupied territories, and may hope to use them as human shields against a Ukrainian offensive, Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of Russian-occupied Melitopol, wrote on Telegram on Dec. 18.

“The ‘rascists’ (Russian fascists) have started a new round of terror – they are making residents who want to leave the occupation take a forced ‘New Year’s vacation.’ Starting from Dec. 15 and for three days now, not a single person has been released from the occupation (zone),” Fedorov wrote.

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He said that over a week the invaders had allowed only 174 people from the four partially occupied  oblasts — Zaporizhzhya, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk — to go to the city of Zaporizhzhya.

Fedorov said that the enemy has increased the filtering process on alternative evacuation routes. For example, earlier it was possible to leave the temporarily occupied part of Donetsk Oblast or Crimea in the direction of Georgia, Estonia or Latvia. However, lately the Russians have been turning Ukrainian cars back at the border more frequently.

“So, another example of the invaders’ terror in action: they are so afraid of the offensive of the Armed Forces that they are holding all civilians hostage as human shields,” the Melitopol mayor added.

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