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MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. Over 50 Ukrainian children injured in shellings in Ukraine’s embattled southeast have been hospitalized to Russia’s best hospitals over the past few months, Russia’s presidential children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said Thursday.
Astakhov was speaking with a report at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Warsaw.
“As of September 25, some 390,000 Ukrainian nationals forced to leave the place of their permanent residence were in these regions. Their number includes more than 2,600 pregnant women and some 99,000 children, whose right to security, life and health, education and medical services in their homeland was grossly violated,” he said.
“Many children injured by shellings and bombings and who are urgently in need of medical assistance - over 50 people - have been transported and hospitalized to Russia’s best clinics over the past few months, where competent medical assistance is rendered to them free of charge,” Astakhov said.
These children, he added, lived through the horror of shellings, aviation raids and bombings on the part of their fellow nationals, the death of their near and dear, were deprived of essential foodstuffs, drinking water, drugs and medical aid.
“As a result of traumatic shock, underage victims of war still feel serious psychological and pedagogical problems. Many became orphans after the death of their parents, others became disabled as a result of wounds, nervous and physical exhaustion,” Astakhov stressed.
Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have claimed some 3,500 lives, according to the UN, and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s southeast.
Talks mediated by the OSCE on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk saw the parties to the Ukrainian conflict agree on cessation of fire and exchange of prisoners two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
The ceasefire took effect the same day but reports said it has occasionally been violated.