1.36 million people have been brought to Russia from the contested areas of Ukraine since the fighting began. More than 230,000 of them are children, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday in Moscow. People were brought to safety from Ukrainian areas such as the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. 17,700 people were evacuated on Thursday, including 2,370 children.
The Kiev leadership accuses the Russian troops of preventing people from fleeing to Ukrainian-controlled territory. Most Ukrainians did not go to Russia voluntarily, but were deported.