More than 1 million people evacuated from Ukraine to Russia since Feb 24: Lavrov

More than 1 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine into Russia since Feb 24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in remarks published early on Saturday (Apr 30).

The 1.02 million includes 120,000 foreigners and people evacuated from Russian-backed breakaway regions of Ukraine, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics, which Russia recognised as independent just before launching its invasion.

According to data from the United Nations, more than 5.4 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the invasion. Moscow calls it a “special operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” its neighbour. Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression.

Lavrov, in comments to China’s official Xinhua news agency published on the Russian foreign ministry’s website, said 2.8 million people in Ukraine have asked to be evacuated into Russia.

Ukraine has said that Moscow has forcefully deported thousands of people to Russia.