Ukraine has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin sent more than 500,000 Ukrainians to a remote corner of Russia and barred them from leaving as he looks to tighten his control over Ukraine.
More than 500,000 Ukrainians, including 121,000 children, have been "forcibly transferred" to Russia, claimed Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya.
One of the places the Ukrainians have been sent is to the isolated industrial island of Sakhalin on Russia's far eastern territory, which resembles Shutter Island in all but name, according to the Daily Star.
Sakhalin's Residents Are Militaristic
Sakhalin is Russia's largest island but it has a population of merely 1,27,000 people, many of them are either fishermen or work for the island's extensive energy production sector.
It's very difficult for Ukrainian to leave the area as the difficult terrain of the island witnessed brutal winters and the region is in itself a fortress.
The Japanese used to control the island until 1945 but since WWII it's been controlled by Russia.
The notorious island is very hard to live in as being one of the coldest regions of Russia, the island rarely witnesses temperatures over 0C in winters.
It's also believed that Ukrainians coming to the islands will be forced to work and they could be assimilated to become Russian citizens.
Putin Wants To 'Erase' The Idea of Being a Ukrainian
Even experts on Russian State TV have pointed out that Putin's plan is to erase the idea of being a Ukrainian.
Russia-backed experts believe that the idea (of being Ukrainian) needs to be erased from start to finish as they claim "it's been poisoning the lives of Slavic people, for 100 years".
"In reality, Russian people we're told 'now you're going to be' (Ukrainians). Even though the name itself is insulting, an insulting name, to be one of the Russian people and to suddenly become Ukrainians," one of the experts revealed on Russian State TV.
Putin's actions are suggesting that Russia is using Sakhalin Island as a displacement base for Ukrainians.