Thousands of kids transported to Russia

·1-min read

More than 11,500 people, including 1847 children, make up the latest group transported from Ukraine into Russia without the participation of Kyiv's authorities, Russia's defence ministry says.

That number includes evacuations from Russian-backed breakaway regions of Ukraine, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics, which Russia recognised as independent just before launching its February 24 invasion.

Russia says the people have been evacuated at their own request, while Ukraine has said Moscow has forcefully deported thousands of people to Russia since the war's beginning.

On Monday the first civilians to be evacuated from a giant steel plant in the besieged port of Mariupol arrived in the Ukrainian-held city of Zaporizhzhia, as part of a United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross operation co-ordinated with Ukraine and Russia.

Since February 24, nearly 200,000 children and 1.1 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine into Russia, the defence ministry said.

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