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Some 226,000 Ukrainians seek refugee status, temporary asylum in Russia

October 23, 2014, 10:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Over 103,000 displaced persons from south-eastern Ukraine have been employed across Russia

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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Savostyanov

MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. Some 226,000 Ukrainian nationals sought a refugee status or a temporary asylum in Russia since the ongoing military conflict hit the former Soviet republic early this year, the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) said on Thursday.

“As of today almost 226,000 people from Ukraine’s southeast sought refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia as they were forced to leave their country,” the service said.

In line with the Russian legislation the terms of temporary and political asylums have different meanings and statuses. The temporary asylum is granted by the FMS for the period of one year, can be annually extended for another year and gives the right to live and work in Russia, whereas the political asylum can be granted by a presidential decree only.

According to earlier reports, up to 200,000 Ukrainians have been already granted temporary asylum or refugee status in Russia, while, according to the migration service, almost 46,000 people from Ukraine remain in temporary asylums in Russia and 400,000 were housed in private sector.

Russian Deputy Labor Minister Andrey Pudov said addressing the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, in mid-October, that over 103,000 displaced persons from south-eastern Ukraine have been employed across Russia.

Liliya Arestova, a deputy head of the FMS citizenship department, said last week that over the past nine months 3.6 million Ukrainian nationals entered Russia.

Conflict in eastern Ukraine

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have killed over 3,700 people, brought massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s southeast.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict - Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics in Ukraine’s east - agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire took effect the same day but has been reportedly often violated.

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