Russia wants to turn Ukrainians into a silent labor force, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to the parliament of Iceland on May 6.
"They have been saying for a long time that we allegedly have no right to exist on our own," he said.
"And they want to erase any reminders of our culture, despite the fact that our culture has millennium-long roots."
The Ukrainian president said that Russia wants Ukraine to never have democracy or independence.
"So that our land, our nature could be used against our interests," he said.
"So that our resources could work for another state. And so that our people could be just a silent labor force."
Zelensky said that more than 500,000 Ukrainians had already been deported to Russia.
"Ukrainians are being sent to remote regions of Russia and deprived of their means of communication," he said, adding that the aggressor country was also taking away their documents.