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Ukrainians refuse to apply for refugee status in Russia — State Border Guard Service

July 11, 2014, 15:09 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukrainians say rather often that they will go on vacation, on business or visit relatives
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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

KIEV, July 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service has noted the movement of 2.922 million citizens across the border with Russia from March to June 2014.

The movement decreased by 50% as compared with the similar period of 2013 when up to 4.6 million Ukrainian citizens crossed the border, the Border Guard Service’s press service said on Friday.

Ukrainians say rather often that they will go on vacation, on business or visit relatives, the press service said.

Ukrainians also say due to the political crisis in the east, they “have to leave their homes and go to other areas of the country or to Russia where most Ukrainians have relatives”, it said.

“However, by crossing the border no Ukrainian citizen asked for a refugee status. Instead they say they will return home,” the press service said.

Due to the flow of refugees a state of emergency has been introduced in the Volgograd, Rostov and Astrakhan regions, in Stavropol Territory, in Kalmykia, Crimea and Sevastopol, Russia’s Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladimir Artamonov said on July 10.

The high alert regime has been introduced in the Belgorod and Voronezh regions.

According to the Federal Migration Service, about 480,000 Ukrainians are in Russia. This year, 2,5 million Ukrainian citizens have arrived in Russia, two million have returned back, and about 480,000 have remained in Russia.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry's spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky said the number of Ukrainian refugees accommodated in temporary centres in Russian regions exceeded 20,000.

For the present, 20,392 people, including 8,322 children, are in 310 temporary accommodation centres in Russian regions, and eight mobile stations are ready to receive 3,600 people.

People in the centres are provided with basic necessities and medical and psychological care.

Hotlines are operating to provide comprehensive help for displaced people. The service had received more than 2,600 calls, Drobyshevsky said.

Refugees arrive mostly in Crimea and the Rostov region, from where convoys and EMERCOM (Emergencies Ministry) aircraft carry them to other Russian regions. "Six 'air bridges' are organized to carry refugees to other Russian regions from the Rostov region and the Republic of Crimea. The Russian Emergencies Ministry's aircraft have carried more than 4,500 people, and almost 4,000 people were carried by convoys," the spokesman said.

Planes and road transport deliver relief aid cargoes for Ukrainian refugees. A total of more than 800 tonnes have been already delivered, and more than 120 tonnes were on the way to the Rostov and Volgograd regions.

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