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GENEVA, June 18. /TASS/. Some 275,000 foreign citizens asked Russia for asylum last year to hide on its territory from war and persecution, the UN refugee agency said in its annual Global Trends Report: World at War released on Thursday.
"With a total of 274,700 registered individual asylum requests, the Russian Federation became the largest single recipient of new individual asylum claims worldwide in 2014," the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.
This figure includes about 7,000 applications for refugee status and some 267,800 applications for temporary asylum in Russia. "In previous years, the combined figure had never exceeded the 5,000 mark," the report reads.
The outbreak of conflict in eastern Ukraine had a major impact on the 2014 figures. A total of 271,200 or around 99% of claims in Russia were lodged by Ukrainians, it says.
"Of the 1.47 million initial individual asylum applications registered with either UNHCR or States worldwide during 2014, Ukrainians lodged 288,600 claims - on average, every fifth claim," according to the report.
While Ukrainian asylum-seekers have applied for asylum in 67 countries or territories, 94% of all applications were registered by Russia. Other important recipients of Ukrainian asylum claims were Germany (2,700 claims), Poland (2,100), Italy (2,100), and France (1,400).