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Ukraine prevents evacuation of orphans from war zone — Russian ombudsman

July 30, 2014, 18:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Pavel Astakhov noted that the Kiev authorities prevented the evacuation of HIV-infected children from the areas engulfed by combat operations
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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

MOSCOW, July 30. /ITAR-TASS/. 1,223 children are staying in orphanages that have found themselves in battle zones in the southeast of Ukraine, while the Kiev authorities prevent their evacuation either to Russia or to other Ukrainian regions, Russian children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov told Rossia 24 television on Wednesday.

“All in all, 3,700 children lived in these 64 orphanages let us say before the beginning of the summer,” he said. “Now, we have made telephone calls and specified that 1,223 children remain in the zone of combat actions,” the ombudsman said.

He added that the Kiev authorities prevented the evacuation of HIV-infected children from the areas engulfed by combat operations, giving as an example an orphanage in the settlement of Makeyevka where 56 HIV-infected children lived at this moment.

“The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics offer their evacuation, but Kiev that has learnt about this, prevents it,” Astakhov said.

He said Kiev was not commenting on its refusal to evacuate children from the war zones. “Coming instead are well-known statements by the Ukrainian children’s rights ombudsman: ‘Keep them out of Russia’,” Astakhov added. “She also appealed to the head of the Russian border service to prevent these children from crossing the border,” he said.

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