NARVA, Estonia (AP) — Nearly 2 million Ukrainians refugees have been sent to Russia.

Their journey starts not with a gun to the head, but with a poisoned choice: Die in Ukraine or live in Russia. Those who choose to live in Russia are then taken through a series of what are known as filtration points, where treatment ranges from interrogation and strip searches to being yanked aside and never seen again.

Ukraine portrays these journeys as forced transfers to enemy ground, which is considered a war crime. Russia calls them humanitarian evacuations. An Associated Press investigation found that many refugees are indeed forced to embark on a surreal journey into Russia, subjected along the way to human rights abuses.

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It also found an underground network of Russians trying to help Ukrainians escape.