Increasingly, the news of Ukraine and the world announce the forced evacuation of the Ukrainian population (including Mariupol) to Russia.
- As reported by the Mariupol City Council, during the evacuation on March 24, 2022, about 15,000 citizens were deported to Russia without their will
- Unfortunately, a similar situation occurs in the temporarily occupied part of Kyiv region, where the Russian military tried to deport the Ukrainian population to Belarus
- According to the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine (hereinafter – the ” Ministry of Reintegration “), as of March 29, 2022 due to the forced removal of the Russian military from the temporarily occupied and blocked cities of Ukraine about 40 thousand Ukrainians were in Russia
- Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk March 26, 2022 said that Ukraine has already officially appealed to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer to obtain from Russia lists of all Ukrainian citizens who were forcibly deported from Mari , and provide them with the opportunity to return to Ukraine
- The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is currently preparing a program to support people forcibly deported to Russia.
That is, Ukraine does not stand aside from this problem and actively takes measures aimed at protecting and restoring the violated rights and freedoms of its citizens.
At present, all those who have been forcibly deported from Ukraine and wish to return should know certain rules / recommendations that will not only help them create safe conditions for moving to and staying in Russia, but will also speed up the process of repatriation.
Here are the main ones.
- Recommendations to be followed during (in the process) of forced deportation from the territory of Ukraine:
- It is very important to keep your identity documents.
Therefore, if possible, you should not transfer your passport of a citizen of Ukraine to other persons during and after leaving the territory of settlements where hostilities are taking place.
Avoid tampering with the passport (if possible, do not allow marks, seals, written data, etc.).
- It is advisable to have copies of your own passport of a citizen of Ukraine and other relatives / family members (or any other identity documents).
These can be both plain paper and electronic copies. Such documents should be hidden in a safe place between your belongings.
At the same time, if everything is clear with paper copies, we have some tips on the formation and storage of their electronic counterparts.
- Formation of electronic copies of documents
Electronic copies of identity documents are one of the most reliable ways to keep relevant data. These can be scans or photocopies.
You don’t have to access the scanner today to scan documents. The vast majority of modern smartphones are equipped with programs that can use the camera to create files in pdf format. In the absence of such opportunities, you can take ordinary photos on the phone.
- Where better to keep such electronic copies of documents?
Scan copies and / or photos of documents should not just be stored on a specific device (including phones or flash drives), but sent to your own email address (email address of relatives), access to which will not be limited to using a specific device.
The expediency of such actions is due to the fact that electronic devices are at risk of failure, or lack of power supply may make it impossible / difficult to charge the battery. In addition, unfortunately, but during the forced deportation of persons outside Ukraine, the latter are not insured against illegal seizure of property, including electronic devices that store certain information.
In turn, access to e-mail is usually not limited to the use of a particular device. Therefore, sending a scanned copy (photo) of identification documents to your e-mail can provide access to the relevant files from any device and regardless of the physical location of the person. All you have to do is authorize your e-mail and open an e-mail with copies of your documents.
- Try not to sign any documents.
It is obvious that with your signature the occupiers will try to hide their criminal acts and fabricate documents confirming the fact of forced deportation of Ukrainians.
- If possible, try to refrain from traveling to camps.
ІІ. How to behave in the so-called “filtration camp”?
Filtration camps are special places for checking Ukrainian citizens, mostly located near the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, where forcibly deported Ukrainians are checked for “reliability” or “unreliability” before further deportation to the territory of Russia
To all those who found themselves in such places, the Ministry of Reintegration advises the following:
- Before passing the so-called inspection, you should remove all “suspicious” information from your smartphone, laptop or other media: discussion of political issues, hostilities, photos of military equipment and destruction. It is worth leaving the chats, which discuss (discussed) news directly related to the military invasion of Russia. It is necessary to unsubscribe from such channels;
- in the case of using several messengers, it is advisable to leave the least active on the phone or delete them altogether;
- it is necessary to install two-factor authentication on the phone and on all applications with social networks;
- in the case of interrogation, it is necessary to behave as neutrally as possible, not to be provoked, not to discuss political issues and not to engage in relevant conversations / discussions.
III. How to return to Ukraine to those who were forcibly relocated to Russia?
- Where to go for help?
First of all, it is necessary to get in touch and provide the competent authorities (persons) of Ukraine with information about yourself and your desire to return to Ukraine.
Connections and communications can be established through the nearest embassies of Ukraine in neighboring countries or countries of possible transit.
To this end, the Ministry of Reintegration has published on its website contact telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of Ukrainian embassies (consulates) in a number of countries, including Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Turkey and others (infographic below).
Diplomatic missions of Ukraine abroad are instructed to provide the necessary advisory and consular assistance to deported Ukrainians to ensure their return to Ukraine.
2) What you need to say when establishing contact with Ukraine:
- identifying data (including name, date of birth, address of registration of residence, etc.);
- contact information that can provide contact with a person in need of help (phone numbers, email addresses, social media pages);
- data on the direction of movement in which the illegal forced evacuation is carried out outside the state border of Ukraine (if the information is provided during the actual illegal forced movement of persons);
- location data, in particular, but not exclusively: names of the region, settlement, street, house number (in the absence of accurate data on the name of the settlement, the exact address of the location, should be as detailed and complete description of the characteristics of location, location, availability certain defining objects).
- Recommendations of the Ministry of Reintegration on the routes of departure from Russia:
Leaving the territory of Russia for the territory of another state, the process of returning to Ukraine will be much faster and safer.
OPTION № 1 “RUSSIA – ESTONIA”
Departure from the territory of the Russian Federation across the Estonian border, crossing point Ivangorod – Narva.
To get to the checkpoint you first need to get to St. Petersburg, for example by train, and from there – to Ivangorod (2 hours on the road).
From Narva you can get to Tallinn in 2 hours (free for citizens of Ukraine).
OPTION № 2 “RUSSIA – LITHUANIA”
The easiest way to travel from Russia to Riga (Latvia) or Vilnius (Lithuania) is to use the Ecolines bus service.
Summarizing the above, we advise everyone who has been subjected to illegal forced deportation from Ukraine to the territory of Russia to follow the above recommendations. At the same time, it should be remembered that Ukraine takes care of all its citizens who, for one reason or another, need its help, and takes the necessary measures so that every Ukrainian can return home as soon as possible.
Glory to Ukraine!