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Russia begins moving civilians from Zaporizhzhia Oblast under pretext of evacuation

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 10, 2023 8:23 AM 1 min read
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Russia has begun new waves of relocating Ukrainian civilians from Russian-occupied areas of Zaporizhzhia Oblast under the pretext of evacuations. Some civilians are taken further into Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine, while others have been taken to Russia.

Relocating civilians may be tied to Ukraine's upcoming counteroffensive. Ivan Fedorov, the Ukraine-elected mayor of Melitopol, located in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, said on TV that Russia was sending more troops to the southern front line.

In Russian-occupied Enerhodar, Russia has reportedly organized a relocation for family members of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant's employees, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on May 10. The employees, however, are not allowed to leave the plant, the General Staff said.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located in Enerhodar, is Europe's largest nuclear plant and has been occupied by Russian troops since March 2022.

Russian forces and occupying authorities reportedly took the civilians from Enerhodar to the cities of Berdiansk and Kyrylivka, also located in Russian-occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Those who agreed were taken to filtration camps in Russia's southern Rostov Oblast, the General Staff reported.  

The General Staff also said that Russian forces on May 8 announced an "evacuation" of preschool and school-age children along with their parents from the city of Kamianka-Dniprovska to Berdiansk, although only a small number of people volunteered to leave.

On May 9, the Ukrainian Military's National Resistance Center said that Russia was "preparing a new wave of deportations from the region under the guise of "evacuation."

According to the center, Russian forces have already prepared buses for the relocations, identified collaborators that will help with he process, and have closed down Russian-installed educational institutions.

According to Fedorov, however, that these are not "mass evacuations," but actually just "a few hundred evacuated for show," CNN reported.

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