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Zelensky to Icelandic parliament: Russia wants Ukrainians to be silent labor force

KYIV. May 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the forced deportation of Ukrainians from Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russia to its outlying regions is being carried out so that they become a silent labor force there.

Speaking before the Icelandic Parliament, the head of state said the nature and weather conditions in Ukraine create favorable opportunities for agriculture.

"However, look at the full-scale war that continues on our soil. Look at what the Russian military is doing. Even in such comfortable conditions, they managed to create inferno. For what? Everything is very frank: so that we never have democracy, so that we there has never been independence. So that our land, our nature can be used against our interests. So that our resources work for a foreign state. And so that our people are just a silent labor force," Zelensky said in his video addressing.

He also called on the Icelandic parliamentarians to pay attention to the number of Ukrainian citizens deported to Russia.

"More than 500,000 of our people have already been deported to Russia. They were forced to go there. Everything is taken away from them. Their documents are taken away, their means of communication are taken away. They are sent to outlying regions of a foreign land. Russia. They are trying to assimilate by force there. Some 500,000 deported people! This is a large number. And you know, this is more than the total population of your beautiful country," Zelensky said.