US ambassador can’t confirm report of Ukrainians being deported to Russia

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks during an emergency meeting of the General Assembly

The US ambassador to the United Nations said on Sunday that she could not confirm a statement by the Mariupol city council that indicated Ukrainian citizens were being deported to Russia from Mariupol.

CNN “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper asked Linda Thomas-Greenfield if the US was aware of the deportations in which the city council said involved a thousand people who were mostly women and children.

“Can you confirm? Does the US know that that’s happening? And, if it is happening, how disturbing is that?” Tapper asked Thomas-Greenfield.

“I have only heard it,” Thomas-Greenfield responded. “I can’t confirm it.”

“But I can say, it is disturbing. It is unconscionable for Russia to force Ukrainian citizens into Russia, and put them in what will basically be concentration and prisoner camps,” Thomas-Greenfield added. “So, this is something that we need to verify. Russia should not be moving Ukrainian citizens against their will into Russia.”

On chemical weapons, Thomas-Greenfield said to Tapper that allied forces will “respond aggressively” if Russian forces use such weapons on Ukrainians, a notion that the White House has been warning could happen.

“They have used chemical weapons against their own people. And we are concerned that they may use chemical weapons in Ukraine.” Thomas-Greenfield said.

“We have been clear, if they escalate to this level, we will respond aggressively to what they are doing. You have seen the consequences so far of our actions against Russia and against Putin. And they are feeling those consequences. And they will feel more if they take this unfortunate decision to use chemical weapons.”

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