According to Russia’s defense ministry, more than 11,500 individuals, including 1,847 children, were carried from Ukraine into Russia on Monday without the cooperation of Kyiv authorities.
This figure includes evacuations from Ukraine’s Russian-backed separatist areas, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics, which Russia recognized as independent shortly before commencing its attack on February 24th.
Russia claims that the refugees were evacuated at their own desire, while Ukraine claims that Moscow has deported hundreds of people to Russia forcibly since the war began.
Moscow refers to its efforts in Ukraine as a “special operation” aimed at demilitarizing and “denazifying” the country. Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of launching an unjustified aggressive campaign.
As part of a United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross effort coordinated with Ukraine and Russia, the first people evacuated from a massive steel complex in the besieged port of Mariupol arrived in the Ukrainian-held city of Zaporizhzhia on Monday.
According to the military ministry, approximately 200,000 children and 1.1 million individuals have been evacuated from Ukraine to Russia since February 24th.