A Ukrainian deputy mayor has sensationally claimed that Russian soldiers are capturing civilians in embattled areas, and are forcing them into labour in Vladimir Putin's despot state – even likening the situation to Nazi Germany.
Sergei Orlov, deputy mayor of devastated city Mariupol, said that up to 40,000 Ukrainians have been hauled across the border to work in "depressed" areas of Russia, including far outposts in Siberia.
He said that the people are given a 15-minute warning before their homes are shelled to bits.
Mr Orlov told the Sun exclusively: “Russian troops are bursting into cellars and basements where our people are hiding like frightened mice and telling them: ‘You have 15 minutes to leave.’
“If they refuse to come out the buildings are destroyed, leaving families entombed.
"We have made contact with people who have told us what is happening — they are being taken off to Russia to work for the state in depressed areas.
“It is forced labour. They are having to work for Russia to survive."
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He added that Russian troops are separating children from their parents.
“Hundreds of children from kindergarten age upwards are being held at a hospital in Donetsk and kept away from their parents.
"They are trying everything they can to break us. Our city does not exist anymore. Now they are taking away its people.”
Mr Orlov added that people being processed using a system the Russians call “filtration", before being taken to the Russian bastions of Donetsk, Dokuchaevsk and Starobeshevo then on into Russia.
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Men are even strip-searched for tattoos showing support for Ukrainian nationalism, The Sun reported.
Their passports are held by their captors, the publication added.
“We try to keep going, but the suffering we are having to endure is intolerable," Mr Orlov added.
"The last time so many terrorised people were moved around Europe was in World War Two and the similarities with Nazi tactics are very clear.
“Ukrainians are finding themselves being taken as far away as Siberia to work and I am sure many will also end up in eastern Russia before long."
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