UNITED NATIONS, April 28. /TASS/. The number of children who have fled Ukraine and Donbass since the conflict broke out stands at about 730,000, with most of them arriving in Russia with their parents, as only a small fraction of children were hosted by families, Roman Kashayev, diplomat of the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN, said on Friday at an "Arria formula" meeting of the UN Security Council dedicated to problems of children in war zones.
"Since February 2022, Russian regions have accommodated more than five million residents of Ukraine and the Donbass republics. Of these, more than 730,000 are children. The vast majority of these minors traveled either with their parents or other relatives. Only 2,000 of them were children from orphanages in the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, arriving with the head teachers and teaching staff of those institutions. Of these children, only 358 were placed in families," he said.
The diplomat emphasized that this did not mean adoption, but temporary custody or provisional guardianship.
"This form of guardianship was selected on purpose so that the children could potentially be reunited with their blood relatives once they are found," he added.