Amid ongoing Russian attacks, a Canadian newborn baby has been rescued from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and safely united with his parents.
Aari, who is only eight days old, was recovered from a clinic by team members of a U.S. non-profit rescue organization on Friday and transported to meet his parents in a Ukrainian city near the Polish border.
Aari was birthed by a Ukrainian surrogate in Kyiv to Canadian parents. The parents flew to Poland from Canada to meet their baby. The family has now safely crossed into Poland, a statement from Project Dynamo said.
“We’re deeply grateful to the Canadian embassy for the overwhelming support they provided before and throughout this,” said Bryan Stern, co-founder of Project Dynamo, in a statement shared to Global News on Saturday.
“Their help was truly imperative and it would have been far more difficult without their support.”
In an email late Saturday night, Global Affairs Canada told Global News that the agency is aware of reports of a Canadian child being transported from Kyiv.
“Consular officials are in contact with the family and are providing assistance,” spokesperson James Emmanuel Wanki said.
However, they could not disclose more details due to privacy concerns.
This was Project Dynamo’s second successful attempt at rescuing babies from the war-torn country since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Earlier this month, the non-profit had also recovered twin American premature babies and a British premature baby, it said.
The group says it has so far received 14,000 requests for evacuation and has rescued more than 215 people from Ukraine, including women and children.
Although Kyiv has so far been spared the intense bombardment seen in cities like Kharkiv or Mariupol, authorities say at least 60 civilians have been killed in the capital since Moscow began the invasion in late February.
More than 3.3 million people, mostly women, children and older adults, have fled Ukraine amid the invasion, according to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR. Millions more are displaced within the country.
Ukraine has evacuated 190,000 civilians from front-line areas via humanitarian corridors, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Saturday.
As of March 19, at least 902 civilians had been killed and 1,459 wounded in Ukraine, the U.N. human rights office (OHCHR) said.
Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special operation” that is not designed to occupy the territory but destroy its military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists. The Kremlin also denies targeting civilians.
— with files from Reuters