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Quake-affected Children Arrive in Russia

More than 450 children from China's earthquake-hit provinces arrived in Russia on Thursday for a three-week rehabilitation visit to the country.

A group of 364 students flew to the far eastern city of Vladivostok on charter flights from Beijing and Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan.

Another group of 100 children arrived in the central region of Kemerovo, where regional governor Aman Tuleyev met them at the airport.

"We will do our utmost to ease the pain of the Chinese children and will help them maintain bright impressions from their visit" to the region, Tuleyev said, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

The children traveled to Russia at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who, during his visit to China last month, offered to host children from the quake-affected areas for rehabilitation in Russia.

A total of 1,000 Chinese children will go to Russia this year, to be followed by another 570 next year. They will stay in children's recreational centers in different parts of Russia and offered psychological therapy, soothing sightseeing trips and amusement programs.

(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2008)

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