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About 4,000 Ukrainian refugees seek temporary asylum or refugee status in Russia

June 03, 2014, 17:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The administration of Russia's Voronezh region says the problem may become sharper if the refugees' number keeps rising in the coming days

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Residents of Ukraine's Sloviansk in their destroyed house

Residents of Ukraine's Sloviansk in their destroyed house

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev

MOSCOW, June 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Konstantin Romodanovsky, Head of the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS), said on Tuesday that about 4,000 Ukrainian nationals have applied for temporary asylum or a refugee status in Russia.

“About 4,000 Ukrainian nationals have asked the Russian Federal Migration Service for a refugee status or have applied for temporary asylum in Russia,” Romodanovsky stressed.

“Most problems related to durable sojourn in the territory of Russia are linked with Ukrainian citizens. We are helping them, and are ready to help. So, the number of refugees keeps growing,” the FMS chief said.

The leaders of the migration agencies in Slovakia and Hungary, who met Romodanovsky on Tuesday, said their countries did not face any refugee flows from Ukraine.


Refugees come to Russia

In the meantime, Russia’s Voronezh region, which is bordering Ukraine, has received first refugees who fled the military hostilities in Ukraine. Three families with four children arrived from the Luhansk region after the situation there got seriously worse, a source at the Rossoshansky district of the Voronezh region told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

An administration expert, Sergei Tkachenko, explained that the refugees were staying with their relatives and friends in the Rossoshansky district. The authorities in the village of Shekalovka provided two houses for the refugees on a local farm. However, the administration says the refugee problem may become sharper if their number keeps rising in the coming days.

Several Ukrainian families who want to wait out the hard times in Russia have found shelter in the neighboring Kantemirovsky district of the Voronezh region, Vladimir Filatov, the deputy administration head, said.

Russian Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov told a news conference that Russia’s southern Rostov region would receive 80 Ukrainian refugees on Tuesday.

Ukrainian refugees are also crossing into Russia in the Belgorod region.

“The situation is tense. A total of 375 families have crossed the border since late March: 338 of them have asked the Federal Migration Service for temporary asylum. Thirty-seven families have sought a refugee status,” Astakhov said.

Thirty children and 26 adults crossed into Russia’s Rostov region from Ukraine’s Donetsk region on foot on the night to June 2. All of them have been accommodated at recreation and health improvement centers. Fourteen children will travel further to Stavropol, the administrative center of Russia’s southern Stavropol region.

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