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Vladimir Putin launched a multi-pronged attack on Ukraine in February
Orlando Bloom has visited Moldova to meet with children and families impacted by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The 45-year-old actor – who is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador – ventured to the UNICEF supported Blue Spot space in Palanca, south-west Moldova, where women and children can find shelter, respite and support as they flee Ukraine to find safety during this devastating time.
Orlando spoke with those who have witnessed the devastation first hand, and listened as they recounted the horrors unfolding since Russian president Vladimir Putin unleashed a multi-pronged attack on the neighbouring country in February, which he has described as utterly “heartbreaking”.
Orlando said: “I met one mother as she arrived at the border crossing with her three young children. She told me they had fled Ukraine last night after their neighbour’s house was bombed and they were too scared to stay.
“It was heartbreaking to see this family and so many others stream through the border after long journeys, with only a few belongings, and not knowing where their journey will end.”
Orlando also visited families at Moldexpo refugee centre in Chișinău, which is one of 100 centres in Moldova, which neighbours Ukraine.
The centre is a safe space for refugees to sleep, get medical assistant and legal aid, with many arriving at the centre with nothing more than the clothes they wore when they fled Ukraine.
The Troy actor – who has son Flynn with ex Miranda Kerr and daughter Daisy with Katy Perry – was touched by what he saw.
He recalled: “Many families and children I spoke with have not only left their homes but also their school, friends, family members and almost everything they own. As a father, I can’t imagine the upset and confusion they must feel.
“The Blue Dots set up by UNICEF on the borders are a vital first stop for mothers desperately looking for some respite, and a safe place for children to play.”
UNICEF and UNHCR have partnered with governments and civil society organisations to set up three Blue Dots in Moldova on refugee routes, to provide vital support, shelter and safe stop offs for families fleeing the devastation in Ukraine.
UNICEF Representative in Moldova, Maha Damaj, has revealed how important protection services are at this time, as children and families displaced are susceptible to trafficking, exploitation, and grave danger.
Maha shared: “The urgent and very real threat to Ukraine’s child refugees is growing every day. Children traveling on their own are especially vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation as they make long and arduous journeys.
“UNICEF is working around the clock in Moldova to provide children and families with psychosocial care and protection services as they cross the border to find safety.”
Russia unleashed war on Ukraine on 24 February, and over one month later the war continues, and has seen almost two million children flee Ukraine and crossing into Moldova in search for safety.
Numerous fashion brands have ceased trading in Russia since the war began, while other celebrities have pledged to donate funds, or help to raise donations, to support Ukraine.