More than one million people ‘evacuated from Ukraine to Russia since invasion’

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More than one million people ‘evacuated from Ukraine to Russia since invasion’
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More than one million people in Ukraine have been evacuated to Russia since the start of the invasion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

Around 120,000 of those people are either foreigners or have been evacuated from Russian-backed breakaway regions in Ukraine such as the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics.

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

Ukraine has accused Moscow of forcefully deporting thousands of people to Russia.

Mr Lavrov said if the United States and Nato were "truly" interested in resolving the Ukrainian crisis, they should stop sending weapons to Kyiv.

"By publicly expressing support for the Kyiv regime, the Nato countries are doing everything to prevent ending of the operation through political agreements," Mr Lavrov said.

He also said negotiations continue between Russia and Ukraine “almost every day.” However, he cautioned that “progress has not been easy.”

Mr Lavrov in part blamed “the bellicose rhetoric and inflammatory actions of Western supporters of the Kyiv regime” for disrupting the talks.

It comes as British officials say Russian forces in Ukraine are likely suffering from “weakened morale.”

The Ministry of Defence says Russia “still faces considerable challenges”. Defence chiefs believe Russian forces have “been forced to merge and redeploy depleted and disparate units from the failed advances in northeast Ukraine”.

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