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ROSTOV-ON-DON, May 31 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian border guards did not permit a bus with 38 refugees, including 21 children aged from two months to 12 years, to enter southern Russia’s Rostov-on-Don Region overnight to Saturday, Russian border guards helped them to cross the border by foot, official of the information policy department in Rostov-on-Don Region Alexander Titov told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
In his words, the incident has occurred at border checkpoint between Russia’s Donetsk and Ukraine’s Izvarino. Along with children the bus was carrying 17 women.
“Refugees stated that Ukraine’s National Guard might have shot down all people on the bus and should not have permitted them to enter Russia. But they succeeded to break through, all of them are safe and sound and thank very cordially Russia and authorities in Rostov-on-Don Region that they helped them,” Titov said.
He added that refugees had been accommodated at holiday home Donetsky in the Rostov-on-Don regional town of Donetsk.
“They spent the last night there, were fed and were given foodstuffs for further way. The governor instructed to assign two comfortable buses to them and now they are heading for the city of Yevpatoria [Russian Crimean Black Sea resort city] escorted by road police,” Titov added.
In his words, refugees will be staying in Russia for an indefinite period of time.
“We should think over what to do next. They have no way back to the city of Slavyansk. Their houses were damaged in hostilities,” the regional official added.
Russian Presidential Children Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov voiced indignation over actions of Ukrainian border guards who hampered buses with children to cross Russian-Ukrainian border.
Around 150 children from the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk came to the Russian Republic of Crimea on May 30 from south-eastern Ukrainian regions where Kiev authorities are carrying out a punitive operation. A total of 172 people, including 25 adults and other people are children aged from eight to 16 years, arrived in Crimea. Another small group of children have earlier come to Russian summer camp Artek and children were redirected to another summer camp.