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Ukrainian ombudsman says 461 children killed since start of Russia-Ukraine war

Ukrainian ombudsman says 461 children killed since start of Russia-Ukraine war

 
- About 520,000 Ukrainian children abroad due to war with Russia, says Dmytro Lubinets
 

By Davit Kachkachishvili

KYIV, Ukraine (AA) - Ukraine’s ombudsman said on Friday that 461 children have been killed since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war one year ago.

"These figures are not final. To clarify this, work continues in areas that are temporarily occupied, liberated, and where conflicts continue," Dmytro Lubinets told Anadolu in an interview.

It is currently difficult to determine the exact number of Ukrainians who fled the country since the start of the war, Lubinets noted, saying there are over 8 million Ukrainian refugees in Europe as of Feb. 20, according to UN figures, with 5 million registered in various national protection programs of European countries.

Lubinets further said they do not know how many citizens of Ukraine are in Russia and Belarus, but that more than 15 million people left Ukraine considering the UN refugee agency's information on the number of those crossing the Ukrainian border.

He also noted that many children were harmed due to the war, with hundreds of thousands of them without any records.

"There are 520,000 Ukrainian children abroad due to the war waged by Russia,” he said, adding: “Russia prevents access to information and contacts about illegally deported Ukrainians in every way. We estimate that this number may reach up to 150,000 children."

He also said 6,447 children, who were deprived of their parents, were identified, of which 1,233 were left without a family.

"Most of these children, 4,161 of them, were temporarily placed with relatives and acquaintances. Others are in foster families and family-type orphanages. … 4,400 children, including 638 linked to the circumstances of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, were granted the status of orphans or deprived of parental care,” he noted.

He also said 2,826 children without one or more parents were evacuated to the safe zones of Ukraine in the country, with 5,325 children being sent abroad.

Lubinets added that the mental health of nearly 1.5 million children in Ukraine is at risk, and the education of 5.7 million children has been interrupted.

On Feb. 24 last year, Russia declared its "special military operation" in Ukraine, which has resulted in the death of at least 8,006 civilians and 13,287 injuries, according to the latest UN figures.

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