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Ukrainian security forces claim they preparing corridors for refugees

June 12, 2014, 18:45 UTC+3 KIEV

“There are our roadblocks around Sloviansk which act as a filter,” head of the Security Service’s Anti-Terrorism Centre says

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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

KIEV, June 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian security forces are creating humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from the combat zone in the south-eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Vasily Krutov, head of the Security Service’s Anti-Terrorism Centre, said on Thursday, June 12.

“There are our roadblocks around Sloviansk which act as a filter. Unarmed people can freely leave the dangerous area through them,” he said, adding that they were quite effective in stopping armed militiamen.

Krutov said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko “has instructed (us) to create a rescue (humanitarian) corridor for the civilians who wish to leave the area” where the army operation is underway. “We are already working on this,” he added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said earlier in the day, however, that 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.

Russian presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said Moscow would urge Kiev to create humanitarian corridors for refugees in the south-eastern regions.

“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.

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