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Over 220 Ukrainian refugees to be transferred from Crimea to central Russia

July 04, 2014, 20:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A total of 268 temporary accommodation centers in Russian regions currently house more than 18,200 people

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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

MOSCOW, July 04. /ITAR-TASS/. More than 220 Ukrainian refugees will be transferred from Crimea, a former Ukrainian region that recently acceded to Russia, to the central Russian Tula and Ryazan regions, the Russian Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

Two Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) strategic airlifters will be sent to the Crimean capital Simferopol for that end.

“Over 220 people who were forced to leave the Ukrainian territory will be brought by special flights to the Domodedovo Airport, where EMERCOM officials will meet them,” an EMERCOM spokesman said.

Later, they will be taken by buses to temporary accommodation centers in the Tula and Ryazan regions, where they will be supplied with whatever is required, and provided with medical, psychological and information support.

A total of 268 temporary accommodation centers in Russian regions currently house more than 18,200 people.

If refugees in the southern Russian Rostov Region and Crimea wish, they are transferred to other Russian regions. Overall, EMERCOM aircraft and vehicle convoys have transported more than 6,100 people.

Ukrainians continue fleeing the war-torn Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine where the Ukrainian military, units of the “national guard” and the Right Sector ultranationalist movement have been conducting a military operation since mid-April against residents demanding federalization of the country and greater rights for Russian language speakers.

Russian Regional Development Minister Igor Slyunyayev said Monday that the number of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Russia from the embattled Southeast of Ukraine may reach 300,000 by the end of this year.

President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives on Tuesday that Russia will provide assistance to refugees from Ukraine.

The example of Crimea, which refused to recognize the authorities imposed in Ukraine during a coup in February and seceded from the country to reunify with Russia in March, apparently inspired residents of Ukraine’s southeastern regions, who supported the country’s federalization. They started massive protests and formed militias.

Kiev's military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's embattled Southeast, which involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, has killed hundreds of people, destroyed buildings and forced tens of thousands to flee Ukraine to Russia.

Fierce military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after President Petro Poroshenko, who had been elected in late May and taken office on June 7, ended the 10-day ceasefire in the Southeast on Monday. When the truce was in place, there were reports that it was repeatedly violated by Kiev.

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