MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. More than 16,000 people were evacuated from dangerous regions in Ukraine, and from the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to Russia during the day, Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on Monday.
"During the past day, as many as 16,054 people, including 4,631 children evacuated from dangerous zones in various Ukrainian regions, and from the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to Russia without the Ukrainian side’s participation. Since the beginning of the special military operation, more than 346,740 people, including 73,614 children, have been evacuated," he said.
According to Mizintsev, some 1,867 private cars crossed the Russian border on Monday and 40,392 since the beginning of the operation.
He also said that more than 9,500 temporary accommodation centers are operating in Russia for refugees from Ukraine.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aimed to demilitarize and denazify the country.
When clarifying the unfolding developments, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.