MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian forces haven’t let two buses with children through a checkpoint, Russia’s Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said Friday.
“The Ukraine’s official authorities have stopped funding not only social pensions but also orphanages Yesterday two buses with orphans and children from boarding schools were not let though a checkpoint controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces,” he told Rossiya 1 channel not specifying where exactly the incident took place.
Children have to be evacuated from Ukraine’s combat zones, the ombudsman reiterated.
Meanwhile, Slaviansk people’s mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov's press secretary reported that the National Guard of Ukraine stopped cars with refugee children on checkpoints and sent them back to the city.
“When we started to evacuate children, Ukrainian Guard offices opened fire on the cars. The convoy of vehicles had to spend five hours at checkpoint and was sent back to the city. Not everyone manages to leave the city,” Stella Khorosheva said.
Earlier in the day, Astakhov said that at least seven children have been injured in shooting in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk.
A statement was aslo published on the ombudsman's official website saying that Russia is ready to accept refugee children from the southeastern regions of Ukraine, where fighting is now going on.
“All border areas – the Belgorod, Voronezh, and Kursk regions – welcome them into their territories. We are also ready to send them to Crimea. However, the problem is that these are children from a foreign state, Ukraine, and they can't be taken out of the country illegally. We will be accused of child abduction," Astakhov said, adding that Russia is working on resolving this legal problem.
Astakhov earlier said he had received many requests from Ukrainian parents to rescue their children after he arranged for the return of an 11-year-old girl from besieged Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine to her home town of Belgorod, Russia.
The Russian ombudsman sent a letter to United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon informing him of the situation in southeastern Ukraine, where families are being shot as they attempt to leave the crisis-hit region.
In response to growing tensions in Ukraine’s eastern regions, the interim Ukrainian government announced the beginning of a special operation to crack down on the protesters in mid-April. The operation that allowed for the use of military force against civilians led to dozens of deaths and injuries.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said at least 10,000 people have been displaced as a result of the hostilities.