Donetsk, Sep 19 — DAN. More than 4.2 million refugees from Donbass and Ukrainian regions have come to the Russian Federation since February 2022, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

“As of Monday morning, more than 4.2 million people including 654,000 children have crossed the Russian border, ” the agency said citing a law-enforcement officer. “Nearly half of them are DPR and LPR citizens.”

Over this period, Russian authorities have provided more than 12 billion rubles worth of financial assistance to refugees and residents of war-ravaged areas.

Tensions increased dramatically in Donbass in mid-February 2022 as Ukrainian forces stepped up artillery attacks every day. The Republics launched mass evacuation of the population and later carried out mobilization. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he had decided to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and then announced a special military operation. Russian forces helped liberate the whole territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic and a large part of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and take under control the Kherson region and part of the Zaporozhye region.*jk