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Million of Ukrainian refugees stay in Russia — Public Chamber

August 14, 2014, 13:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Around a million refugees from south-eastern Ukraine are currently staying in Russia, deputy head of Coordinator Staff for Russia’s Public Chamber, Georgy Fyodorov, who is in charge of humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees, told ITAR-TASS at a news briefing on Thursday.

“The situation is disastrous, as around a million of Ukrainian people are already staying in Russia”, he said, stressing that the situation is actually much worse than the United Nations’ officials say.

Fyodorov said that not all the refugees rush to receive an official status via the Federal Migration Service (FMS) and many of those simply stay at some relative’s house without getting a registration, therefore it is hard to be sure about the exact number of Ukrainian migrants in Russia.

According to the forecasts of Russia’s Public Chamber, from 500,000 to a million of refugees from south-eastern Ukraine are to be expected to Russia within the nearest months due to active military operations in the former.

“We should operatively transport them to other areas of Russia to improve the social situation in the regions”, Fyodorov added. He believes, however, that the government should not close temporary accommodation sites in the bordering regions of the country yet.

Ukrainian refugees request temporary asylum in Russia

About 78,000 Ukrainian citizens have applied for the refugee status or requested temporary asylum in Russia, deputy head of the Federal Migration Service (FMS) Nikolai Smorodin said on Thursday.

“Currently, 773,000 Ukrainian citizens (who arrived in Russia fleeing the military operation in the east of Ukraine) are staying in Russia. A total of 78,000 people have applied for the refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia, 3,000 of them applied over the past 24 hours,” he said at a special meeting of the Russian Presidential Council for Human Rights and Civil Society Development. In July, 42,000 Ukrainian citizens applied for temporary asylum, he added.

The FMS official said that a large number of Ukrainian refugees, staying in the border areas - Crimea and Sevastopol - have been undecided on the asylum request. “They are waiting, hoping they will be able to return home soon,” he said.

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