Bloom, a UNICEF ambassador and actor, visits children's centre in Kyiv

FILE PHOTO: Orlando Bloom speaks onstage during the 29th Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 26, 2023. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

KYIV (Reuters) - Orlando Bloom, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations children's organization UNICEF and a star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Lord of the Rings" movies visited a children's centre in Kyiv on Sunday.

It was his first trip to Ukraine since 2016, the British actor said. He also met with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

"I would have never expected the war to have escalated throughout the country since I was there," Bloom said on Instagram.

"But today, I was fortunate to hear children's laughter at a UNICEF-supported Spilno centre, a safe, warm, and nurturing space for children to play, learn and receive psychosocial support."

The Spilno centres, spread throughout Ukraine, offer support for displaced children and their families, with more than half a million children and their caregivers having visited one in the past year, according to a UNICEF statement on its website.

As of March 26, at least 465 children have been killed in the 13-month long war Russia waged against its neighbour, according to Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office.

"He knows what this aggression has brought, how full-scale the world's efforts must be to stop it, to restore Ukraine after the war," Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address after meeting Bloom.

(Writing by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by David Gregorio)

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