25,000 people evacuated from Ukraine, Donbass to Russia in past day
The Russian Ministry of Defense announces that 25,000 people have been evacuated from Ukraine and Donbass over the past 24 hours.
More than 25,000 people have been evacuated to Russia from dangerous areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), as well as Ukraine, over the past day, Russian National Defense Control Center chief Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev said on Saturday. Mizintsev also heads Russia's humanitarian response coordination headquarters.
"Over the past 24 hours, without the participation of the Ukrainian side, 25,674 people, including 3,803 children, were evacuated to the territory of the Russian Federation from dangerous areas of Ukraine and the Donbass republics," he told a briefing.
The official also revealed that since the start of the Ukraine war, more than 2.1 million people, including more than a third of a million children, have been evacuated to Russia.
Mizintsev did not report any attempts by Ukraine to interrupt the evacuation process, but that was the case several times. Ukrainian nationalists have shelled gatherings of people seeking evacuation and opened fire against surrendering civilians in a bid to discredit Moscow's humanitarian efforts.
The Ukrainian forces and nationalists have also been committing provocations against civilians in areas they control, and Russia's humanitarian efforts come in a bid to curtail any offensives against civilians.
The authorities in Kiev have ordered nationalist battalions to film and direct staged videos about looting and mass murder to accuse the Russian armed forces of being behind these crimes, Mizintsev had underlined in April.
Russia has also been sending aid to civilians affected by the war, but on several occasions, the Ukrainian nationalists were found to be taking humanitarian aid away from Donbass civilians, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) reported in April.
Russia had unilaterally opened the humanitarian corridors for civilians months ago to help them evacuate from Ukraine despite the lack of cooperation from Keiv.
"We officially declare that humanitarian corridors toward the Russian Federation will be opened unilaterally, without any approvals, now daily from 10 a.m. [07:00 GMT], as well as in other directions upon coordination with the Ukrainian side. In areas controlled by the Russian armed forces, we guarantee complete security," Moscow said on March 11.