Debunking fakes in partnership with Facebook
Vladimir Putin’s statement that Ukraine allegedly holds more than 6,000 foreigners hostage and treats its citizens even worse is being spread online.
Screenshot of the post, shared on Facebook
However, this is not true. Ukraine does not hold anyone hostage. Foreigners cannot leave cities due to russian shelling.
Now some foreigners stay in Ukraine, in particular foreign students. On March 7, Iryna Vereshchuk, Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, said that 2,046 foreign students from 27 countries were in Sumy, Chernihiv, Mariupol, and Kherson, close to the front line. They cannot leave because of the russian shelling (or occupation, in the case of Kherson), and not because of the actions of the Ukrainian authorities.
Where possible, Ukraine helps foreigners leave dangerous cities. For example, in the first eight days of the Russian invasion, Ukrzaliznytsia evacuated 58,000 foreigners.
Authorities in Sumy and Mariupol are trying to organize humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians. On March 8, the Sumy-Poltava humanitarian corridor was successfully opened. However, the evacuation from Mariupol to Zaporizhia was suspended due to russian shelling and attempts to use the humanitarian corridor to make a breakthrough.
The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations