The Russian army is forcibly deporting thousands of Mariupol residents in order to use them as hostages for political pressure on Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said this in a statement posted to Facebook, Ukrinform reports.
The ministry said the Russian Federation has begun a new phase of terror against the city of Mariupol as residents who survived Russian bombing and artillery shelling are now being forcibly deported to Russia. Some 15,000 residents of the city's Livoberezhny district are in grave danger, as the Russian occupiers are now forcing them to move to Russia.
"According to the information available, the Russian army has forcibly deported about 6,000 Mariupol residents to Russian filtration camps in order to use them as hostages and put more political pressure on Ukraine," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
Ukrainian diplomats stressed that at the same time, the Russian armed forces are firing on evacuation columns trying to leave Mariupol for the territory of Ukraine free from Russian occupation. Additionally, Russian troops continue to hold in detention a humanitarian convoy of buses that arrived a few days ago from Zaporizhia to take people from Mariupol.
The ministry stressed that such actions by Russia are a gross violation of the laws and customs of war, the norms of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions.
"We call on the world leaders gathered in Brussels today for the NATO, Group of Seven and EU summits to take urgent action to save the lives of the residents of Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities who have found themselves in an inhumane siege by the Russian army," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
Ukrainian diplomats also called on the international community to impose new tough sanctions on Russia to stop its deadly military machine, as well as cut off all business ties with Russian companies to stop funding Russia's war against Ukraine.
Ukrinform reported earlier that Russian invaders are deporting thousands of Mariupol residents to Russia. In total, about 15,000 Mariupol residents were illegally moved to Russia.
Mariupol City Council said the people are first taken to "filtration camps" from where they are sent to various remote cities in Russia.
Today it is known that about 6,000 Mariupol residents have already been forcibly deported to Russian territory.