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Ministry opens helpline for ethnic Russians living in Ukraine

March 26, 2014, 16:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“Most of applying ethnic Russians want to move to Russia because they fear for their lives,” Russian Ministry of Regional Development says
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

MOSCOW, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Ministry of Regional Development’s helpline has received about 1,000 calls and e-mails from ethnic Russians living in Ukraine since it was opened two days ago, ministry sources told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

Most ethnic Russians using the helpline ask questions about possible participation of Ukrainian nationals in the Russian state program of assistance to fellow countrymen willing to move to Russia. Ministry sources said most calls were coming from the Kiev region, from the Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine and from the Lvov and Ternopol regions in western Ukraine. The ministry also receives calls and e-mails from relatives of ethnic Russians living in Ukraine. Some Ukrainian nationals have asked for assistance in their getting a refugee status and asylum in Russia.

“Most of applying ethnic Russians say they want to move to the Russian Federation because they fear for their lives or the lives of their next-of-kin in an unstable social and political situation in Ukraine, as well as a growing intolerance and discrimination from radically minded people amid inaction of local authorities and law enforcement agencies,” the ministry said.

Some people said they had to appeal for Russian citizenship because of a growing moral pressure (for example insulting inscriptions appearing on the doors to their apartments), threats of sackings, physical menaces or demands that they stop using their native language, the ministry said.

It also said information about threats to ethnic Russians and discrimination of Ukrainian nationals based on ethnicity and language “will be sent via the Russian Foreign Ministry to international organizations, including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe”.

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