“You came from Donbas, the place where blood is shed today. If all were well, you probably would not have come here. But we tried to do what we could so that you don’t feel as if you are in a foreign land, but among relatives who care about you,” the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said during the meeting Thursday.
Patriarch Kirill wished the children a merry Christmas, and said that he hoped that “the civil war and the suffering would disappear as soon as possible from Donbas.”
Over 100 children of refugees from the war-torn eastern Ukraine regions were invited to the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow for the Christmas celebration.
According to the Russian Federal Migration Service, the overall number of refugees who fled Ukraine for Russia due to the armed conflict between independence supporters and government forces stands at around 830,000.