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A daring group of Ukrainian mums have created an organisation launching secret missions to save terrified kids hiding from Russian tanks.
The Claw have already rescued a staggering 227 children from Ukraine's capital Kyiv as they take refuge in basements while Vladimir Putin's bombs rain down.
The women have sneaked past Russian soldiers in woods, climbed through derelict buildings destroyed by shelling and frantically driven the kids to safety, reports the Mirror.
A vast proportion are orphans, their parents killed during the invasion or the fighting in Donbas over the past eight years. Others have parents missing or stuck abroad.
Oksana, a key Claw member, told the Mirror: "It’s not gentle, we have no time to comfort them properly, we bundle them into the car as many as possible then drive avoiding the tanks – for two days until we are safe."
The Claw's daring missions – which started almost immediately after Russia launched its "special military operation" – see up to 35 kids at a time saved from the ravages of war.
The group managed to save three more kids from an area near Kyiv in their most recent outing, but The Claw ringleader Ksenia, 50, insists there is more work to be done.
Sobbing as she scrolled through photos of yet-to-be rescued children on her phone, the mum-of-two said: "We still have work to do – there are kids who need to be rescued.
"They need us. Look at them – they send me photos of themselves drawing cats. We have to get them out of that place. It is horrific and they are very frightened."
Ksenia also explained the meaning behind the group's name.
She told the Mirror: "We got the name 'The Claw' because we are clawing these kids to safety when we rescue them."
Ksenia also recalled the time she had to guide her friend Alyona, a 40-year-old who works for her Kyiv finance company, to safety.
Alyona, whose husband is away fighting the Russians, had been holed up with four kids for six days.
They managed to secure Alyona a safe route out by using Ksenia's contacts in the police and by mapping out the latest Russian troop movements.
Alyona herself is now a key member of The Claw.
Ksenia said: "I was talking to Alyona on the phone, guiding her to safety as she drove, whilst trying to work out how to feed the 100 kids we had already rescued."
It took two days driving through the warzone to get Alyona and the four children she rescued to safety, to a secret place in the Carpathian Mountains.
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- Russia Ukraine war
- Vladimir Putin
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