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Odessa authorities say no housing will be allocated to refugees from eastern regions

July 14, 2014, 17:05 UTC+3 ODESSA

Odessa’s resorts that were idling at the beginning of the summer are now overcrowded by refugees from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions

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A view of Odessa (archive)

A view of Odessa (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Roman Kruchinin

ODESSA, July 14. /ITAR-TASS/. No housing and land plots will be allocated to refugees from Ukraine’s eastern regions in Odessa, the governor of the Odessa region in Ukraine’s Black Sea coast area told journalists on Monday.

“I have a specific attitude to displaced persons - regrettably, they often vilipend the fact that Odessa has given them temporary accommodation when there is a war in their native regions,” governor Igor Palitsa said. “No one will allocate land plots, no one will allocate housing to them - there are residents of Ukraine. When the situation calms down, they will return home. Should anyone have no money enough for that, we will find funds to send them back.”

Palitsa’s words came as a comment to local media reports that the Odessa authorities planned to allocate some 100 hectares of land to build housing for refugees from the war-gripped eastern regions and servicemen who had come to Odessa fromCrimea.

Odessa’s resorts that were idling at the beginning of the summer are now overcrowded by refugees from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. “We have to receive all the refugees because of a war in the country’s eastern regions. So, Odessa’s resorts are practically full,” said Irina Markevich, the director of the regional social protection department. Officials from the Odessa regional administration said that refugees were trying to find jobs and the region’s labour market was too limited.

Meanwhile, the situation is being exploited by unscrupulous officials. In June, the police detained the head of the executive directorate of the Odessa regional social insurance fund, Valentin Dubovenko, who was suspected of embezzling funds allocated for the accommodation of forced migrants from Donetsk and Luhansk. According to investigators, Dubovenko and a number of other top-ranking regional officials organized a machination scheme that made it possible to steal up to a third of the funds allocated to resorts that allocated refugees from eastern regions, a spokesman for the regional department of the Ukrainian Security Service told journalists. Preliminary estimates put the damage to the state at 24 million hryvnias (about $2.4 million).

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