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MOSCOW, July 04, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Health Ministry said Friday it is ready to provide an opportunity to all patients from the eastern Ukrainian Lugansk and Donetsk regions bordering Russia to be treated in Russia.
“Today Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova turned to her Ukrainian counterpart Oleg Musy with an offer to make it possible to all patients from inhabited localities of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, where the armed standoff continues, to undergo medical treatment in Russia,” the ministry said.
In her letter, Skvortsova noted that numerous requests the ministry received from residents of Ukraine’s embattled Southeast show that the situation with rendering medical assistance to civilians in hospitals of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, first of all those affected by the armed standoff, is catastrophic.
The hospitals lack the required medications, water, electricity and elementary conditions for professional medical assistance.
“Our duty as doctors and people directly responsible for protection of health and lives of people is to help them,” the Russian minister said.
Ukrainians continue fleeing the war-torn Donetsk and Lugansk regions where the Ukrainian military, units of the “national guard” and the Right Sector ultranationalist movement have been conducting a punitive operation since mid-April against residents demanding federalization of the country and greater rights for Russian language speakers.
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 punitive operation in Ukraine's 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.
Troops loyal to Kiev resumed fierce military attacks on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after President Pyotr Poroshenko, who had been elected in late May and taken office on June 7, ended the 10-day ceasefire in the Southeast on Monday.