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Over 10 Russian regions provide shelter to Ukraine refugees — official

June 20, 2014, 16:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry is sending humanitarian cargoes to Russian regions requesting aid for Ukrainian refugees

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Ukrainian refugees at the Russian border

Ukrainian refugees at the Russian border

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

MOSCOW, June 20 /ITAR-TASS/. Over ten Russian regions are providing shelter to refugees from southeast Ukraine, the scene of fierce fighting between Kiev’s military forces and local self-defense militia, Russian Emergencies Deputy Minister Vladimir Stepanov said on Friday.

“This effort involves over ten regions, to which people are moving along transit routes,” Stepanov told a government commission for emergency situations.

The deputy emergencies minister said he hoped all Russian regions would join the effort.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry is sending humanitarian cargoes to Russian regions requesting aid for Ukrainian refugees, the deputy minister said.

Two Emergencies Ministry planes have taken off to deliver humanitarian cargoes to Rostov-on-Don and Simferopol and another plane is preparing for this mission, Stepanov said.

“The Emergencies Ministry is delivering canned food, medications and baby food to temporary accommodation centers.”

Three ministry’s aircraft should deliver further supplies of essential items such as blankets and food to Russia's southern Rostov region and Crimea.

“The first Il-76 plane with humanitarian aid on board took off from Ramenskoye airport in Moscow region to the city of Simferopol at 13:20 Moscow time,” ministry reports. The aircraft will provide tents, blankets, bedding items, place and dishes, furniture sets and foodstuffs to Ukrainian refugees. The full cargo weight exceeds 38 tonnes.

Psychologists are working at the Russia-Ukraine border crossing points, he said.

“They are providing psychological support to all, without any exception. A telephone hot line has been opened to provide information support,” the deputy emergencies minister said.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has also set up 15 groups of highly qualified specialists with the experience of work with people in emergency situations to reinforce psychologists’ work, Stepanov said.

Acting governor of the southern Russian Rostov Region Sergei Bondarev said the regional authorities are sending up to 500 Ukrainian refugees to other Russian regions for accommodation as the region is hardly coping with such an influx of people.

A Russian law enforcement source said on Wednesday that more than 13,500 registered refugees from Ukraine’s embattled southeastern regions are currently in Russia, including some 6,200 children.

The refugees are in the border regions of Russia’s Central and Southern federal districts, as well as in Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol - two entities that reunified with Russia in mid-March 2014 after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.

The overall number of refugees from Ukraine in Russia stands at tens of thousands of people, but only some of them officially apply for the refugee status.

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