‘Mass deportation’ underway in Kherson – DW – 10/20/2022


Ukraine has accused Russia of orchestrating a “mass deportation” of residents in the Kherson region, which is has illegally occupied for months and annexed after a sham referendum in late September. 

Moscow has enacted martial law in eastern Ukraine and says it is “evacuating” residents while it fires missiles around the country.

“Putin’s martial law in the annexed regions of Ukraine is preparation for the mass deportation of the Ukrainian population to depressed areas of Russia in order to change the ethnic composition of the occupied territory,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said on Wednesday.

Sergiy Khlan, an aide to the ousted head of the Kherson region, accused Putin of attempting to foment panic in the region for propaganda purposes.

He said the relocation of residents, which he called “equivalent to deportation,” was being used by Moscow as a pretext to justify Russia’s “withdrawal from Kherson and more generally from the right bank” of the Dnieper River

Vladimir Saldo, the Kherson region’s new Moscow-installed head, told Russian state television that his administration would relocate east of the Dnieper.

Russian authorities said almost 5 million Ukrainian residents have relocated to Russia since the invasion in February.

Occupied Kherson relocates residents

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Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on October 20.

Russia could ‘reassess’ working with UN chief over drone inspections

Russia’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said on Wednesday that Moscow might “reassess” its working relationship with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres if the UN head goes ahead with an inspection of drones recovered by Ukraine.

Ukraine this week invited UN experts to inspect some downed drones, which were allegedly supplied to Russia by Iran. Guterres reports twice a year to the Security Council on the implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and an assessment of Iranian drones in Ukraine would likely be included in that report.

Iran and Russia say the UN has no mandate to inspect the drones recovered by Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters after a closed-door Security Council meeting on Wednesday about Moscow’s use of drones, Polyanskiy called on Guterres to “abstain from engaging in any illegitimate investigation.”

“Otherwise, we will have to reassess our collaboration with them, which is hardly in anyone’s interests,” he added, without further explanation. “We do not want to do it, but there will be no other choice.”

Russia ‘not optimistic’ about resuming grain export deal

An agreement that allows Ukraine to safely export grain via Black Sea shipping channels is set to expire on November 22, and Russia’s deputy UN envoy said it might not be renewed.

Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Wednesday that he was “not optimistic” about renewing the deal and claimed that Rusian exports of grain and fertilizer were being hindered.

When asked if the grain deal could be at threat if the UN sends experts to inspect downed drones in Ukraine, Polyanskiy said: “I don’t make direct link so far.”

Dmitry Polyanskiy speaking at the UN
Dmitry Polyanskiy has called into question the future of the Black Sea grain deal as well as Russia’s cooperation with the UN secretary generalImage: John Lamparski/NurPhoto/picture alliance

US charges Russians over military tech exports

The United States Justice Department has charged five Russian nationals and two Venezuelans with exporting military technology and dual-use technology to aid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Some of the technology had been recovered on the battlefield in Ukraine, US authorities said.

In a separate case that was also unsealed on Wednesday, the US charged three Latvian citizens and one Ukrainian citizen with attempting to export a tool to Russia which could potentially be used in nuclear proliferation.

Ukraine to impose nationwide electricity restrictions

Authorities in Ukraine will impose restrictions on the use of electricity starting on Thursday, as continued Russian strikes over the past several days have crippled energy infrastructure.

Power supply will be restricted between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., grid operator Ukrenergo said.

“Today the enemy again destroyed energy generating facilities … it is necessary to minimize the use of electricity,” said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the president’s office.

“Everyone should be ready, first, to save electricity, and second, rolling power blackouts are also possible if strikes continue,” Tymoshenko said.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed.

Although the power restrictions were only announced for Thursday, Ukrenergo added: “We do not exclude that with the onset of cold weather we will be asking for your help even more frequently.”

Russian strikes target Ukraine’s energy grid

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More from DW’s coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags on into winter, Kiev is increasingly reliant on international military aid. Jens Stoltenberg sat down with DW to discuss ramping up NATO’s support for Ukraine.

A cyberattack recently crashed several Bulgarian government websites. Experts said Russian hackers were retaliating for Bulgaria’s support of Ukraine. DW looks at why Sofia has been hesitant to blame Moscow.

zc/sms (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)



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