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Russia's Rostov Region hardly copes with inflow of refugees

June 20, 2014, 14:36 UTC+3 20 20/6
Many refugees say the worst for them is to wait news from homeland
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Refugee camp in Russia's Rostov Region

Refugee camp in Russia's Rostov Region

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

ROSTOV-ON-DON, June 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The Rostov Region, which already has about 9,000 people from southeastern Ukraine and has exhausted its resources to accommodate more, plans to organize transfer to other regions and provide jobs for refugees.

There are 586 people, including 277 children, in the largest temporary accommodation centre for refugees the Dmitriadovsky holiday complex.

Many refugees told ITAR-TASS the worst for them was to wait news from homeland.

Alyona Gavrilova, 18, from Sloviansk said she could not imagine how her grandmother and grandfather who remained in the city lived there under such conditions. "We maintain contact by phone, but it is hard to reach them, as contact is constantly lost. The city is bombarded and fired at. Now it is much worse than even a week ago. As we were told, stores worked, but there were no food products. There was no money either. When possible, they (relatives) move to other villages to homes of other people. It is impossible to live in their home," she said.

Valentina Blinkova, a retiree, arrived in Russia a week ago from the town of Snezhnoye located near the border in the Donetsk region. She said when they were leaving they escaped shooting.

"I left with my daughter and grandchildren on June 10 when we heard rumors that our town would be like Slavyansk, which is almost destroyed. During the last days before we left, a plane bombarded a checkpoint in Dmitrovka, not far from Kuibyshevo (Russia), and fragments of shells hit a bread-carrying vehicle. People told us by telephone recently that our Saur Tomb, a monument to soldiers who died in the Great Patriotic War (World War II), which was built in the 1960s, was destroyed by bombardment. For us, it is a holy place," Blinkova said.

A physician, an internist of a district hospital, Sergei Muraito, who arrives at centers for refugees to be on duty there, said many needed medical care after such news.

"They do not watch TV because they fear. But they cannot escape meeting and talking with others. Some people, after talking with refugees who have just arrived or with relatives by telephone, have pressure problems. There are many such people. Even those who were in stable condition are in situational stress now. When they return home in their thoughts, it affects their state," the doctor said.

Children have almost recovered from stress. They already are not so alarmed when hear loud sounds. They become more relaxed. It is achieved with psychological care and a program of various cultural and sport events. There is new equipment on their playground. Various occupations are offered to them, and every child can choose what is interesting. They also go on trips outside. Several groups have already visited the Rostov zoo.

Jobs for refugees are among the priorities.

Nobody knows when it is possible to return home. Nobody has long-term plans. But searching for a job is a priority for refugees. A mobile office of the Rostov regional employment centre is in each of the temporary accommodation centers. People can apply to the offices to find a job in other Russian regions.

In Dmitriadovsky, 132 people are looking for jobs. It is clear from questionnaires specially worked out for refugees. Employers from all over the country offer jobs for them. For example, the poultry farm Belgrankorm-Veliky Novgorod is ready to send a bus and take people. The company is ready to provide jobs and accommodations in a hostel. They offer 20,000-30,000-rouble monthly pay (about $580-870).

A Rostov cargo delivery company needs drivers. It is ready to employ and rent housing for workers. A dispatcher of the company is paid up to 40,000 rubles ($1,160) a month, deputy director of the Taganrog employment centre Zhanna Deniskina has said, noting that the region has 4,500 various vacancies.

Russian citizens often take refugees to their homes.

Aside from temporary accommodation centers, hotels and holiday houses, many refugees stay at homes of Russian citizens who are ready to provide shelter for people they did not know before.

A Taganrog resident, Andrei Podolsky, together with his wife and child, has taken seven people into their house. All have settled on 40 square meters. The hosts said all were accommodated without problems. Recently they had 16 refugees in their house.

"We are placed normally. I sleep outdoors. It is not hot now," Andrei said. He does not think it is an exceptional case. "It is normal."

There are many similar examples. Valentina Alfimova, a woman from Slavyansk, and her three children and husband are offered to repair a private house in Krasnodar and live there.

"Volunteers have invited our family to Krasnodar, where a private house that needs repairing is offered. We do not know whose house it is, in what condition and how long we may reside there. But we have nothing else. Our city is smashed. My mother in Slavyansk gathers food from neighbors. She has received some ration from religious people," Valentina said.

The Rostov Region can hardly cope with the inflow of refugees.

More than 150 people left Dmitriadovsky in the past few days for holiday houses in Crimea and near Moscow.

The vacant placed were taken by other refugees at once. There are 950 people in the district, 478 children and 472 adults. They are accommodated in four centers the holiday bases of Dmitriadovsky, Pioner, Parus and Metallurg. The district has reserves for other 40 people, no more, deputy head of the Neklinovsky district Alexander Tretyakov has said.

The Rostov region's authorities planned to accept about 4,000 refugees, but now admit that there is no more accommodation for them. The problem may be solved with new tent camps of the Russian Emergencies Ministry in four border districts, where up to 2,000 people may be accommodated.

The governor has asked the Russian government to prepare other Russian regions to accommodate refugees. Tent camps are comfortable enough for people to reside for some time. Then, transfers will be organized, the head of the information department of the Rostov region's government, Sergei Tyurin, said.

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