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ROSTOV-ON-DON, September 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The number of Ukrainian refugees accommodated in Russia’s Rostov region keeps is declining as truce holds in the embattled eastern Ukraine, a regional official told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.
More than 5,000 people have returned to their homeland since the ceasefire was announced on September 5, Alexander Titov from the Rostov region government’s information policy department said.
A total of 50,145 Ukrainian nationals currently stay in the region against more than 55,000 refugees in the third decade of August. Most of the refugees stay at their relatives' places, and 1,473 people live in temporary accommodation centers.
People keep returning home despite a difficult situation in the war-torn south-east of Ukraine. “Those whose houses were fully destroyed and relatives killed head for other Russian regions,” Titov said. About 500 people left the Rostov region for Ukraine over the past 24 hours.
Clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have killed hundreds of civilians, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee the area.
On September 5, the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine (Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE) and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR) reached an agreement in Minsk on ceasefire in Ukraine’s embattled south-east, troops withdrawal, exchange of prisoners and provision of humanitarian aid.
Last week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said more than 830,000 Ukrainian refugees were staying in Russia as of Thursday.