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Russia to urge Kiev to create humanitarian corridors for refugees in south-east

June 12, 2014, 18:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Meanwhile, about 15,000 refugees from war-torn regions of Ukraine have crossed into neighbouring Russia

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© ITAR-TASS/Dmirty Rogulin

MOSCOW, June 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will urge Kiev to create humanitarian corridors for refugees in the south-eastern regions, presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said on Thursday, June 12.

“We will demand that the Ukrainian authorities create these corridors,” he said, adding that he admired the way Russian people were treating the refugees. “People remain warm and friendly towards Ukrainians. After all we share the same genetic code,” he said.

“We have to admit that even in their absence (of humanitarian corridors) people - women, children and the elderly - manage to cross the border in the ever growing numbers and turn to us for help, which we certainly provide,” Ivanov said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said earlier in the day that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s promises to stop the punitive operation and create humanitarian corridors in the south-east of Ukraine had not been fulfilled.

“The Ukrainian security forces and neo-Nazi are using prohibited weapons against people in Sloviansk, firing at refuges and killing children,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “Poroshenko’s promises to stop the punitive operation and create safe humanitarian corridors for refuges are not being fulfilled.”

Meanwhile, about 15,000 refugees from war-torn regions of Ukraine have crossed into neighbouring Russia.

“It’s hard to name the precise number, but my assessment is that it’s about 15,000 people, mainly women and children,” Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told ITAR-TASS.


OSCE Secretary-General visited refugees

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier visited one of the holiday homes in Russia’s southern Rostov region where more than 300 Ukrainian refugees have been accommodated. His dialogue with the refugees began with an outcry of the Ukrainian women who yelled at him after he had mentioned Poroshenko and said he was seeking peace.

“What kind of president is he if they are killing our people? … even though Ukrainian television says it’s not so,” Valentina Alfimova of Sloviansk said.

Another woman refugee, who identified herself as Natalia, the mother of two children, told ITAR-TASS, “We want to ask the OSCE Secretary-General to do his best so that we could go home. We are very grateful to Russia for receiving us and actually giving us such a warm treatment, but we want to go back home. We want this war to stop.”

Zannier said those responsible for crimes in Ukraine must be prosecuted and noted that the Church could play a constructive role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis.

He also replied to a question from one of the Ukrainian refugees why the world had refused to recognize the results of the referendum in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Zannier said there were certain rules regulating the integrity of countries, under which a referendum should be conducted in accordance with the constitution. Otherwise any person and any family could organize a referendum.

The Rostov region has received nearly 4,000 refugees. Almost 300 refugees have arrived in the neighbouring Voronezh region.

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