London, Feb 24 (EFE).- At least 7.5 million children under the age of 18 may be affected by the full-scale military assault launched by Russia on neighboring Ukraine, the British charity Save the Children said on Thursday.
Children and families rushed into basements and bomb shelters on Thursday after hearing explosions in Ukrainian major cities, while thousands are fleeing the capital Kyiv amid harsh weather conditions, according to the organization.
Save the Children estimates that 400,000 children in eastern Ukraine are under the threat of suffering the direct impacts of artillery bombardment and the presence of soldiers.
“Ukraine’s children are caught in the crossfire of this adult war. It should never have come to this,” Irina Saghoyan, Save the Children’s Eastern Europe director, said.
“Our most immediate concern is the risk to their health and wellbeing – in conflict, everything is on the table – death, injury, sexual violence, protection risks.
“Children are terrified. They are hearing explosions, they are being asked to flee with just the clothes on their backs. The risk to their mental health and potential for long-term trauma cannot be underestimated.”
Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, providing children and their families with essential humanitarian aid. EFE