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Kyiv Says 13,500 Ukrainians Returned via Russia Route

The Kolotilovka border checkpoint between Russia and Ukraine. Rosgranstroy

Kyiv said on Friday more than 13,000 Ukrainians had returned to the country via the only working border crossing with Russia since it opened in the summer.

Thousands of Ukrainians have fled almost two years of brutal fighting by traveling to Russian territory but have slowly begun returning since Moscow opened the crossing into Ukraine's eastern Sumy region in July.

"More than 13,500 Ukrainians have returned to Ukraine from the territory of the Russian Federation through the humanitarian corridor in Sumy region," Ukraine's ministry responsible for occupied territory said.

That figure included 1,653 children and 131 people with limited mobility, it said.

It added that a reception center had been opened there and that work was underway to set up a shelter to house up to 150 people.

Moscow has also been accused of forcibly transferring thousands of Ukrainians to Russian territory.

Kyiv says it has identified around 20,000 children who were taken to Russia after Moscow's forces launched a full-scale military campaign in February 2022.

The International Criminal Court announced this year it was seeking Vladimir Putin's arrest over the illegal movement of children from occupied territory.

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